A dog being offered a tasty healthy treat.

Holiday Foods Your Dog Can Have!

You want to celebrate the holidays with your furry friend, but you’re not sure what foods are safe for them. Frequently people’s food can be dangerous for your dog.

No need to worry! Barking Buddha Pet has you covered with this list of safe holiday foods for your dog. From turkey to carrots, your pup can enjoy all the festivities with the rest of the family. Read all the way to the end for an easy pup-approved holiday meal.

A dog being offered a tasty healthy treat.

Why People Food Isn’t Good For Dogs

Dogs shouldn’t really eat the same things we do. Their diets are fundamentally different, but it doesn’t stop there. Many foods we eat can be toxic and harmful to your pup.

Sodium is found in many foods and is essential for human health. However, too much sodium can be harmful, especially for dogs. Excessive amounts of sodium can cause dogs to become thirsty and urinate more frequently. High sodium intake for your pup can also lead to serious health problems like hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, and stroke.

Additives are another big issue when it comes to giving your pup table scraps. Many common condiments contain additives that can be toxic to dogs

For example, onions and garlic are often used as flavor enhancers in sauces and soups. However, they belong to a group of vegetables known as alliums, which can be toxic to dogs. Allium toxicity can cause gastrointestinal upset and anemia (low red blood cell count).

So, what can you actually give your dog?

Some Foods That Can Be A Treat For Your Dog

There are quite a few human foods that are safe for dogs and can even be beneficial for their health. Here are some special treats you can share with your furry best friend this holiday season.

Plain Turkey Meat

Turkey is a great source of protein for dogs, and it is also low in fat and calories, making it a healthy option for all dogs, including those with weight problems. Additionally, turkey is a good source of essential vitamins and minerals, including zinc, selenium, and vitamin B6.

Adding unseasoned turkey as a treat to your dog’s diet can help improve their skin and coat health, boost their immune system, and even help reduce inflammation.

Raw Carrots

Raw carrots are an excellent treat for dogs, and they are low in calories and a good source of fiber, which can help support digestive health. Carrots are also rich in vitamins A and K, which are important for maintaining healthy skin and shiny fur. Additionally, the crunchy texture can help to reduce plaque buildup while they chew.

Sweet Potato and Pumpkin

Sweet potatoes and pumpkins are excellent sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals that can benefit dogs in many ways.

Sweet potatoes are a good source of beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is important for your dog to maintain healthy skin, coat, eyes, and immune system.

Pumpkin is an especially rich source of beta-carotene and vitamins C and E. These vitamins work together to support a healthy immune system and help protect cells from damage. Pumpkin is also a good source of potassium, magnesium, and zinc.

Adding pumpkin can also help your pup if they have an upset tummy. Just make sure that any pumpkin or sweet potato you give your dog doesn’t have any added sugars.

Pro Tip: You can add a hint of cinnamon to mashed sweet potatoes for your dog, which can help reduce inflammation.


Cranberries are another healthy human food that can be a healthy treat for dogs. They are high in antioxidants, which can help protect cells and reduce inflammation. Cranberries are also a great source of fiber, vitamin C, and manganese.

Adding cranberries as a regular part of your dog’s diet can help improve their overall health. Cranberries can help boost the immune system, support cardiovascular health, and even help to prevent urinary tract infections.

Do be warned, many dogs don’t like the taste. However, don’t offer them jelled or canned cranberry sauce, as it’s typically packed with dangerous sugars.

Steamed Broccoli

While we often curl our lips at the thought of having to munch on these sad little trees, dogs often will happily eat them.

Broccoli is a great vegetable to give to your dog. It is low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins C and K, which are important for healthy skin and fur. The antioxidants present in broccoli can also help protect cells from damage and reduce inflammation.

Never Let Your Dog Eat These

Now that we have covered some things your dog can enjoy this holiday season, let’s look at some dangers.


Onions are toxic to dogs and should never be given to them as a treat. Onion toxicity can cause serious health problems in dogs, including liver damage, red blood cell damage, and even death.

If you believe your dog has consumed onions, contact your veterinarian immediately. Treatment may include inducing vomiting, fluids, and antibiotics. Prevention is always better than cure, so keep onions away from your dog at all times.

Tree Nuts

While dogs enjoy peanut butter, other tree nuts, like macadamia nuts, can be toxic. Other tree nuts like almonds are not as harmful, but they can cause some dangers to your furry friend.

Tree nuts can cause gastrointestinal problems, weakness, tremors, and even death in dogs. If you think your dog has consumed any amount of a tree nut, contact your veterinarian immediately. Overall it’s best to avoid these types of foods.


Alright, so some amounts of garlic might have some beneficial effects for your pup. However, the line between all good and too much is very fine. Because garlic is in the same family as the dreaded onion, it might be best just to avoid giving your dog garlic.

The form of garlic can also play a part in how dangerous it can be to your pup. A whole garlic clove is much worse for your dog than a sprinkle of garlic powder. So just like with tree nuts, it’s better just to avoid this.


Chocolate is a dangerous food for dogs and should be avoided at all costs. Chocolate contains theobromine, which is a compound that is toxic to dogs. Theobromine can cause vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, urination, and panting in dogs. In severe cases, chocolate can cause seizures and even death.

Bark About It: The toxicity of chocolate varies greatly depending on how rich it is. White chocolate is harmless (outside of the fat and sugar) but 60% dark chocolate can cause more serious problems.

Cooked Bones

Cooked bones are another dangerous treat for dogs, and they can cause choking, intestinal blockages, and even lacerations in the digestive tract. Furthermore, cooked bones can easily break, splinter, and shatter.

These small pieces can cause massive damage to your dog’s mouth, throat, and digestive tract. There are no real benefits to giving your dog cooked bones, so avoid these. If your dog does fish one out of the trash, keep a close eye on them and call your vet if anything seems off.

For a safe meaty alternative check out Barking Buddha Pet’s Bully Sticks. An all-natural, safe, and delicious way to spoil your dog. 

A dog chewing on a braided bully stick.

A Warning About Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners, like xylitol, are extremely toxic to dogs and can cause liver failure, seizures, and even death. If you think your dog has ingested any amount of an artificial sweetener, contact your veterinarian immediately. Prevention is always better than cure, so keep these away from your dog.

Furthermore, these sugars are often added to many foods, sauces, gravies, and toppings. So before giving your dog anything, read the label to look for these. Some peanut butter has these added, so you can never be too safe.

Make A Holiday Plate For Your Pup

Make sure your dog feels loved this holiday season with their own little meal to enjoy with you during your holiday festivities.

Turkey with Dog Gravy (You can easily make gravy from canned dog food and warm water.)

Plain Mashed Sweet Potatoes (Here’s where you can add a bit of cinnamon if you want.)

Blueberries and cranberries or carrots

These are great, healthy holiday foods that your pup will love. Just make sure to avoid any foods on this list, and you’ll be good to go!


You should always be aware of the dangers of giving your dog human food, but not all foods should be avoided. Giving your dog some of these approved foods as a treat can be a great way to show them some love. Just remember to be cautious, read labels, and contact your vet if you have any concerns.

Have a safe and happy holiday season! And Check holiday shopping off your list early with Barking Buddha’s Extensive line of treats and chews.

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