Happy Howling with Healthy Holiday Treats

Savoring sweets and treats are holiday traditions, but make sure you share only dog-safe goodies with furry family members. You should avoid treats with these three ingredients to keep your dog in good cheer over the holidays.


Most dog owners know that chocolate can be deadly. But not all chocolate is lethally dangerous for all dogs. So, if fluffy inadvertently finds piece on the floor, a quick trip to the animal hospital may not be necessary.

–  Quantity counts. Chocolate contains the stimulant theobromine, which dogs metabolize much more slowly than humans, allowing it to build up more quickly in a dog’s system. Small amounts are safer.

–  Darker is more dangerous. Dark chocolate is worse than milk chocolate, but even white chocolate is unsafe.

–  Dog size matters. A large dog can more easily tolerate a small piece of dark chocolate. Dangers, especially for smaller dogs, include seizures, heart problems, tremors and even death.

Symptoms to watch for include vomiting and diarrhea. If your dog eats any chocolate, you should call us at Block House Creek just to be safe.

Artificial Sweeteners

While you may think that artificial sweeteners are a healthier choice than sugar, sugar-substitutes with the ingredient xylitol can be fatal for dogs. It is more dangerous than chocolate. Xylitol is used in candies, gums, breath mints, human toothpaste and sweet diet snacks. Even as much as a gram can kill a 10-pound dog. This sweetener can cause seizures and liver failure, which can happen within a few days.

Symptoms may include lethargy, vomiting and motor/coordination problems. You should call us immediately if your dog has consumed anything you think may contain artificial sweetener.


Sugar is a holiday staple. But cookies, candies and cakes with sugar will contribute to your dog’s dental problems, hyperactivity, obesity and eventually even diabetes. Limit sugary snacks to a few bites for special occasions. Instead, choose the natural sugars in dog-safe fruits, yogurt and veterinarian-approved treats.

Keep your dog’s holidays healthy and happy with ho-ho-wholesome pet-safe goodies. Check with one of our veterinarians for suitable recommendations for your precious pup. When in doubt, give us a shout!

Happy healthy holidays from all of us at Block House Creek Animal Hospital!