What Holiday Foods Can My Dog Eat?

What Holiday Foods Can My Dog Eat?

by Petfolk

The holidays are a time for celebration, and what pet parent wouldn’t want to include their furry family members? However, just like humans, dogs can also overeat or eat things that aren’t good for them over the holiday. That doesn’t mean that your canine needs to be left out of the festivities; they simply need a slightly altered menu. There are plenty of healthy holiday foods that you can share with your dog that will include them in the festivities and give them a nice boost in nutrient diversity. There are also some holiday foods that you should be sure to keep away from your dog for its optimal health and safety.

Holiday Foods Dogs Can Enjoy

Here is a list of safe and nourishing foods you can enjoy with your dog this holiday season. Remember, pay careful attention to the preparation of the foods as well as be sure to practice moderation.


It may be surprising, but small quantities of fresh and/or dried cranberries will provide your pooch with a nice little surge in antioxidants as well as stave off their sweet tooth.


A great source of vitamins B6, C, and beta-carotene as well as fiber, sweet potatoes are an ideal holiday food for your furry friend. Regular potatoes are also okay as well. Be sure to keep the preparation simple – simply boil or bake, do not season, and cut into pieces.  


Apples are another wonderful source of fiber that will help fill up your dog. Plain applesauce is also a festive option that gives your pet a nice dose of natural sweetness.


Carrots provide pups with daily essentials such as vitamin A, potassium, and fiber, as well as benefit their dental health. Dogs can enjoy these raw or cooked with no seasoning.


Pumpkin is great for your four-legged friend’s digestive system. Adding pumpkin can help dogs experiencing either constipation or diarrhea. Keep the pumpkin pie for the humans and serve plain canned pumpkin as is to your dog. 


Chicken is a wonderful source of easily digestible protein for your furry friend. Feel free to share a slice of well-cooked, unseasoned chicken devoid of any bones with your dog.

Certain types of fish

Some fish like salmon, ocean whitefish, lake whitefish, herring, walleye, flounder, and Arctic char are delicious treats for your canine companion. All fish need to be cleaned thoroughly, cooked, de-boned, and unseasoned. 

Boiled eggs

Eggs are high in protein, vitamins, essential amino acids, and fatty acids that help support your dog inside and out. Boil, peel, and store in the refrigerator as a healthy treat; however, deviled eggs are not a safe option for dogs. 


Brisket is a tasty, meaty morsel that will certainly delight your furry friend any time of year. It’s okay to indulge a little since it is high in protein, but keep it in low quantities because it is also very high in fat. Brisket should be served plain, without seasoning of any kind, and cut up into bite-sized pieces. 

Holiday Foods Dogs Should Avoid

Some holiday foods are just too decadent or too unsafe for your furry family member to enjoy. Here are a few of the most common holiday dishes on your pupper’s Naughty List. 


In addition to high amounts of fat, ham contains a lot of sodium, nitrates, and nitrites, which can lead to a lot of discomfort. Salt can also be toxic to dogs causing vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and urination. 


Gravy, like ham, has high levels of sodium. It also usually contains onions in some form (fresh/juice/powder), which is toxic to canines. 


Stuffing is a fatty, sodium-packed food that contains onions and garlic. Stuffing is a one-stop-shop of things you should not share with your lovable four-legged friend. 

Certain types/preparations of fish 

Long-living fish like tuna or swordfish can contain high levels of heavy metals like mercury which can jeopardize your dog’s health. Any fish served raw, boned, is not thoroughly cleaned, or has seasoning can also be toxic or deadly to your canine. 


Casseroles have multiple ingredients, seasonings, and fats that are often too rich for your dog to digest. Consuming any casserole could cause discomforts like vomiting and diarrhea but can also lead to serious illnesses such as pancreatitis.


Common dessert ingredients like chocolate and xylitol (present in sugar-free desserts) are toxic to dogs. Desserts also can cause upset stomach, weight gain, cavities, diabetes, and metabolic changes. Instead of giving your fur baby a slice of pie, give them a few cranberries or a cut-up apple for their sweet tooth. 

Enjoy a happy, healthy, and tasty holiday with your furry family! Be sure to practice moderation and serve foods only as directed. If your dog eats one of the foods to avoid, be sure to monitor them closely, and reach out to your vet if you are worried. You can also call the

ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Hotline at 888.426.4435 to speak with a professional if you believe your dog has eaten something toxic.


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