Holiday Human Foods Dogs Can & Can’t Eat

Corgi sitting in front of a Christmas tree

The holidays are a time to celebrate with family, friends and lots of delicious food. Some of the ingredients in your favourite holiday meals are safe for dogs to eat, but others pose a threat.

Whether you’re wondering “Can dogs eat turkey?” or “Are cranberries bad for dogs?” our experts have you covered. They explain exactly which human foods your dog can eat and how to feed them to him.

Onions are Bad for Dogs & So are Other Human Foods

Many seasonings, spices and other ingredients we add to dishes to add flavour aren’t good for dogs. Onions are bad for dogs, and so is garlic, salt and pepper.

If you plan to share any of the below dog-safe holiday ingredients, make sure they’re plain and unseasoned. It may sound boring to you, but it will be just as tasty for your pooch.

There are a couple of other holiday foods to avoid besides seasonings and spices. One of the most popular is the honey baked ham. If you’ve wondered “Can dogs eat ham?”, the answer is no. Deli hams contain a lot of salt and most baked hams are full of sugar, neither of which is good for dogs.

You also want to keep raisins and any baked goods containing them out of reach. Items containing xylitol, an artificial sweetener, are toxic. Read all your food and medication labels and keep those items put away.

Holiday Human Foods Dogs Can Have

Although dogs can’t have onions and the other items mentioned above, there are plenty of holiday foods they can eat.

  • Turkey: Yes, dogs can eat turkey. They can have chicken, too. Give your dog white meat, free of any salt or other seasonings. Don’t give them the skin or bones, though. The bones may sound like a safe and fun treat, but they can do real damage.
  • Green Beans: If you think green beans will make a good dog treat, you’re right. You can feed Spot raw, steamed or canned green beans. Just make sure they’re plain and free of any oil, spices or seasonings, such as salt. Other green vegetables like broccoli and spinach are also safe for dogs, but may cause gas.
  • Carrots: Not only can dogs eat carrots, but most also love the crunch and the flavour. Although dogs can eat raw carrots, you can also try giving your dog cooked varieties. The green tops are also edible.
  • Cranberries: There are several fruits and berries your dog can eat throughout the year. Cranberries are popular in holiday dishes and you can share them with your dog. He may not like the tart flavour, though. Keep sugary cranberry sauces, relishes and similar dishes out of reach.
  • White Potatoes: Yes, dogs can eat mashed potatoes, but they can’t have the salt, pepper, garlic, milk, butter and other ingredients added to them. The skin isn’t good for them either, so peel the potatoes before cooking and mashing if you plan to feed some to your dog.
  • Sweet Potatoes: Dogs can also eat cooked and mashed sweet potatoes, but the same advice stands. Keep them plain—make sure he doesn’t get his paws on the yams covered in marshmallows and sugar.
  • Pumpkin: Pumpkin is a tasty, healthy treat for dogs and many love the flavour. When feeding your dog canned pumpkin, read the label carefully. You want to avoid giving him canned pumpkin pie mix, which contains sugar and spices he can’t have.

Treat in Moderation

Although dogs can eat the above human foods, remember treats of any kind (people food or regular dog treats) should only make up 10 percent of their daily caloric intake. The other 90 percent should come from a complete and balanced dog food.

Don’t overwhelm your dog with a bunch of new foods, either. Even though foods like turkey and carrots are safe, too many new things at once could result in an upset stomach.

Festive Dog Food Recommendations

If your dog loves getting holiday ingredients like carrots and sweet potatoes as a treat, try feeding him a dog food that incorporates some of his favourite flavours into his everyday diet. Explore all our dry dog food products to find one your pup will love.

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