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5 Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet on Thanksgiving

5 Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet on Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving holiday is synonymous with delicious, hearty foods that many Americans look forward to enjoying. However, while it may be tempting to allow Fido and Fluffy to enjoy these tasty dishes with you, there are a few foods to avoid completely in order to keep your pets healthy and safe.



Like other poultry, turkey bones are brittle and can splinter easily – especially after they have been cooked. Allowing pets to chew on turkey bones could lead to digestive upset or bowel obstruction. Keep all bones far away from pets and be mindful of children who may play with the wishbone and then discard it in a place where pets could easily find it and eat it. When discarding turkey, and any other poultry, be sure to discard completely and in a way that your pet won’t be able to easily access the items later on.


Typically, stuffing is made with flavorful ingredients that are also toxic to dogs and cats, including onions, scallions or garlic. When consumed in even small portions, these ingredients can lead to digestive upset and even possibly life-threatening anemia.


Potatoes, on their own, are healthy for dogs and cats. Many dog food brands contain potatoes as a healthy carbohydrate. However, many times, mashed potatoes contain large amounts of added fats such as milk or cream and butter which can cause diarrhea in pets that are sensitive to dairy. Also, some recipes call for flavorful add-ins such as garlic, onions, or powered versions of these ingredients which can be life threatening if consumed in even small portions.


Pies, cookies and chocolates, while delicious, are equally as dangerous for our pets – especially those that may contain chocolates or artificial sweeteners. Chocolate – particularly dark chocolate or cocoa powder – can be life threatening for both dogs and cats and the effects vary based on the type of chocolate and the weight of your pet. Likewise, with the rise of fad diets such as Keto, artificial sweeteners have become more accessible and more widely used in desserts. Xylitol, for example, is a form of artificial sweetener that is a popular option but deadly for pets.


While alcohol on it’s own is a danger to pets and should be avoided at all costs, another thing to think about are alcohol infused sweets and dishes such as cakes and cranberries, but also yeasted doughs which, if eaten while uncooked, can continue to ferment inside of your pets stomach leading to an increase in uncomfortable gas or even bloat. Pets, like humans, are also susceptible to alcohol poisoning and can experience symptoms such as vomiting, a drop in blood pressure or loss of coordination.


If you are concerned about your pets or think they may have consumed any toxic foods, please contact your vet or the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline at 888-426-4435 for assistance.