A “Christmas Vacation” Guide to Holiday Dinner with your Dog

Getting the family together for a big dinner over the holidays is always a big highlight of the season.  But just ask Clark Griswold and he’ll be able to tell you that sometimes pets can complicate things.  With that in mind, we have a few very simple tips to keep your dog happy and healthy through dinner time, while also avoiding an after dinner mess.

“Maybe if you wouldn’t feed him from the table Eddie?”

Giving Fido a few gifts over the holidays is great, but take it easy at the dinner table and make sure your guests know too!  There are a few items on the holiday dinner table that can cause real complications.  You are definitely better off to keep a few extra dog treats within reach if you want to share the festive cheer.  Onions, commonly found in stuffing, and any food with lots of onion powder is bad news for Fido.  To your dog, these items are actually toxic, and can destroy red blood cells.  Turkey skin, gravy and other rich, fatty foods can make for a long night for your dog, and a big mess for you.  Too many scraps from the table and poor Fido could have some nasty symptoms such as upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea.  None of these symptoms are particularly festive or pleasant, so keep a few extra dog treats in your pocket instead.  Nobody wants to clean up a big dog mess while in the midst of a glorious turkey coma.

dog dinner

“He’s just yakin on a bone… He got it up”

Cleaning up properly and being careful with a couple specific items is also crucial.  It’s hard to do all of the cleanup when you are completely stuffed and drifting into a food coma but it’s important to look after a couple of things.  The string used to tie your turkey is an enticing treat in your dog’s eyes.  However it can cause serious intestinal problems that are easily avoided.  Keep that string out of reach!  The other dinner item that absolutely must be kept away from dogs is the turkey bones.  Cousin Eddie’s dog, Snots, may be able to cough up turkey bones under the table (click for link), but that’s the movies, and unfortunately Fido might not be so lucky.  Avoid the large vet bill or a worse tragedy and keep the turkey bones out of the reach of your pet.  You will find the holidays much more cozy and enjoyable if you save the bones for yourself, and make a nice soup stock instead!


Please enjoy the holidays, and have a happy New Year!  Be safe, and enjoy the company of family, friends and pets too!