Holiday Safety Tips & Recommendations

Don't want your pups to gobble up the wrong thing!

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With the holiday season coming up there’s one thing on a lot of people’s minds, FOOD. However, there are certain holiday safety tips you should follow to keep yourself and your pets safe during the holidays. So whether you’re spending it alone in COVID isolation or with your pod of friends/family, here are a few things to keep in mind while you expand your waistline and demolish some calories.


We’ve all done it, let’s be honest. Your dog is giving you those cute puppy eyes, begging for scraps at the table and you can’t help yourself but share what’s on your plate. Nothing to be ashamed of, we do it too! But there are certain foods you should NOT share with Fido as they can cause digestive issues ranging from mild to severe.

Safe (kind of…)
  1. Turkey. According to the AKC, the turkey meat itself is safe for dogs to eat. However, they cannot eat the skin, bones, trimmings, etc. Fatty foods can cause Pancreatitis, which is life-threatening. Seasonings can also cause dietary issues for your dog. Broken bones can damage their digestive tract. If you’re going to share, make sure it is only meat, as plain as can be. Better yet, skip the turkey altogether and keep some plain, boiled chicken on hand. Your dog won’t know the difference and there’s no risk.
  2. Sides. Oh the sides, arguably the best part of holiday meals. However, they are often packed with added fats (how many sticks of butter are in those potatoes?!?), seasonings, and salt. All of these things can harm your animal’s digestive system. Green beans, peas, apples (no core or stem), sweet potatoes, and regular potatoes are all fine for your animal to consume in moderation as long as they are roasted or boiled with no added salt, fat, oil, or seasoning. Best to prepare these separate from the rest of the sides to avoid any cross-contamination. Your pet gets its own special plate!
  3. Dessert (not the human kind). Sweets are not good for your dog and many contain Xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is toxic for dogs. Plus, they are usually full of spices and butter. If you want to make them a special treat, go for a homemade pumpkin treat made with peanut butter. Just be sure it’s 100% pure pumpkin (no spices!) and pure peanut butter with no added ingredients (many contain sweeteners).
Not Safe
  1. DO NOT GIVE! Turkey skin/bones/stuffing, gravy, candy/gum, ham, mashed potatoes, creamed peas, casseroles, yeasted dough, sweet potatoes/yams with added ingredients, pie, desserts, alcohol, onions, scallions, raisins, or grapes. If your pet eats any of these call your emergency vet or the Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661) immediately.


Post Meal

Clean up the table. Food scraps, napkins, paper plates, etc. can all be knocked off or grabbed off the table and possibly eaten by your dog. We know you want to kick back and sleep off the meal but 10 minutes of dedicated cleanup and can save you an emergency vet visit.

Festive Decorations

Similar to Halloween, if you’re putting up decorations make sure they are well out of way from curious pets. Decorations can look like toys to inquisitive pups. Also, certain decorative plants are toxic. Keep them safely out of reach.


If you’ll have people coming over and your dog is a Houdini, be sure to monitor the front door so they don’t escape. Consider putting up a gate with a swing door to limit unplanned outdoor adventures. Also, make sure their tags are up to date.


Is your dog sensitive about strangers entering your home? If yes, consider putting them in another room or in their crate with a toy or chew. It will keep your pet’s stress level lower and your guests safe.

Armed with these holiday safety tips, you’re all set to have a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season.



Brock Casper is the Southwest Region Team Manager for Rover-Time and has been part of the RT team for over two years. When he isn’t working he enjoys reading, playing video games, watching horror films, and going on walks with his dog, Loki.  He lives in Cleveland with his partner, Laurel, dog Loki, and cat Coltrane. Go Browns!

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