Christmas Foods Dogs Can and Can’t Eat

The holiday season is here, and as pet owners, it’s essential to be mindful of what we’re sharing with our furry companions. While it’s tempting to share the joy of delicious Christmas foods with our dogs, not all festive treats are safe for them. In this blog, we’ll explore the dos and don’ts of holiday dining for your four-legged family members. If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s health during this festive season, don’t hesitate to reach out to Mille Lacs Veterinary Group for more information.

christmas foods dogs can and can’t eat in minnesota

Unsafe Christmas Foods for Dogs

During the Christmas festivities, always be aware of the foods that can be harmful to your dog. Understanding why these foods are unsafe can help you make informed choices at the dinner table.


Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which can be toxic to dogs. Dark chocolate is especially dangerous due to its higher theobromine content. Even small amounts can lead to symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and, in severe cases, seizures.

Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins are known to cause kidney failure in some dogs. The exact toxic substance responsible for this remains unknown, but it’s best to keep these fruits far away from your pet.

Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic, whether raw, cooked, or powdered, can damage a dog’s red blood cells and lead to anemia. Avoid sharing any dishes with your pet that contain these ingredients.


Alcohol should always be off limits for dogs. Even small amounts can cause alcohol poisoning, resulting in symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and even coma in severe cases.


While it’s tempting to give your dog a bone from your holiday meal, cooked bones can splinter and pose a choking hazard, cause internal injuries, and even chip or crack your pet’s teeth. 

Safe Christmas Foods for Dogs to Give in Moderation

Now that we’ve covered what to avoid, let’s talk about the Christmas foods that your dog can enjoy in moderation. Remember that these treats should only be offered occasionally and in small quantities.


Plain, cooked turkey meat is generally safe for dogs. Just make sure it’s completely boneless and free from any seasonings, especially garlic and onions.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a nutritious option for your canine friend. They are rich in vitamins and fiber. Simply bake or steam them without adding any sugar or spices.

Green Beans

Plain, steamed green beans can be a healthy addition to your dog’s holiday meal. They’re low in calories and provide fiber and vitamins.

Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe and Healthy During the Holidays

While it’s essential to know which foods to avoid and which are safe for your dog, here are some additional tips to ensure a safe holiday season for your four-legged family member:

Secure Garbage Bins: Dogs are notorious for scavenging, so make sure your garbage bins are securely closed to prevent them from getting into potentially harmful leftovers.

Watch for Decorations: Be cautious with holiday decorations like tinsel, ribbons, and ornaments. Dogs may be tempted to chew on these, leading to choking or intestinal blockages.

Quiet Space: If your holiday gatherings get too noisy or overwhelming for your dog, provide them with a quiet, comfortable space where they can retreat to relax.

We’re Here to Help with All Your Pet-Related Concerns

As you prepare to celebrate Christmas with your loved ones, including your four-legged family members, keep their safety in mind when it comes to holiday foods. While it’s wonderful to share the festive spirit, it’s equally crucial to prioritize their well-being. If you have any concerns or need more information about keeping your pet safe during the holidays, don’t hesitate to contact Mille Lacs Veterinary Group. Our dedicated team is here to ensure your pet’s health and happiness throughout the season. Wishing you and your furry friend a safe and joyful Christmas!