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Which Thanksgiving Day Foods Are Bad for Pets?

Toxic Thanksgiving Day Foods for Pets

Thanksgiving is all about sharing love and friendship. Of course we want to indulge in one of our tastiest holidays with our dogs and cats, but you must be careful of the foods dogs and cats can’t eat. Use our quick guide for a list of what is, and is not, cat- and dog-friendly people food on Thanksgiving Day.

Doggy (and Kitty) Don’ts:

Onions, garlic, chives, and leeks are off-limits to dogs and cats. These savory delights are delicious but can be toxic to dogs and cats when eaten in large amounts or over long periods of time. Keep them away from garlic pills, garlic powder, or foods cooked with them. Cooking down onions does not decrease their toxicity. Pet Poison Hotline states garlic is not an effective home remedy for fleas. Ingesting onions and garlic causes destruction of red blood cells, especially in cats and Japanese breeds, which are more sensitive.

Bakers Beware:

Watch the chocolate! You all know theobromine in chocolate is toxic. Signs of your dog having ingested them includes vomit, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and death. Baking soda and powder can cause muscle tremors and congestive heart failure, so pick up spills quickly! Raw dough is also a no. Don’t let your dog get away with stealing rising bread. Raw dough will keep rising in your dog’s stomach, causing extreme pain. Some raw baked goods have raw eggs, which may contain Salmonella.

No Skin, Either:

We love our Caja China and our crispy golden turkey, but the extreme fattiness in the crispy skin can be very dangerous to your pets. Ingesting excessive fats can cause pancreatitis, a painful condition where the pancreas becomes inflamed. Your dog may show lethargy, vomit, have a hard time breathing, and have abdominal pain. Keep it safe, and eat the skin yourself.

True or false? Your dog can have cooked turkey bones.

FALSE! Cooked chicken and turkey bones can be lethal, causing obstructions or lacerations on the way through your pup’s body. Dogs eat raw bones in the wild, not cooked. Make sure you’re disposing of them safely so your dogs cannot get to them.

Peaches, plums, cherries:

Any fruit with a pit can cause obstructions in your dog’s intestines. It’s important to keep them out of reach of your food-driven pup. Cyanide in peach and plum pits are also an issue.


As we’ve written about in a previous blog post on toxic foods for pets, macadamia nuts can be extremely toxic. Ingesting just a bit may render your dogs unable to stand, elevate their heart rates, induce vomiting and tremors, and may lead to shock.

Nutmeg: This delicious spice is used to dress up sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. It can also severely poison or even kill your dog, so make sure you are not sharing any spiced baked goods or side dishes with Fido on Thursday, or any day. Symptoms include

Foods your dog CAN eat on Thanksgiving

If your dogs and cats must have a human treat, they can eat: cooked turkey (sans skin, just lean white meat) cut into small chunks. Dogs will appreciate steamed green beans, carrots (cats might need them to be cooked), rice, pasta, or cooked pumpkin or sweet potato without spices or fats added. Finish it off with slices of apple without seeds, or blueberries (if your dog is not allergic). Skip avocado, which can upset their tummies, as well as too many brussels sprouts (and one of our pups can’t handle broccoli or anything in the brassica family!). Freshly-made cranberry sauce with little sugar may be good for your dogs and cats. We always recommend you speak with your veterinarian before introducing a new food into your fur kids’ lives.

We hope this helps you have a fit, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving with the fur kids! Let us know how you spent the holidays, or if you need help caring for your pets in the upcoming holidays. Call 305.794.3733 today!

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