Dangers Hiding in Your Thanksgiving Feast

Ahhh, Thanksgiving! The perfect time to celebrate and remember how thankful we are for family, friends, the feasts we are preparing…and of course for our fur-babies!

With the spirit of giving in the air, it’s also important to remember what NOT to give. As tempting as it is to share some of that T-day feast with the pups, don’t lose sight of the fact that many of the foods we enjoy can pose dangerous health risks for Fido & Fluffy.

Below are 10 foods to avoid sharing with the pups this Thanksgiving day. Keep these out of their holiday bowls and you’ll have at least 1 more reason to be thankful – a pup with a happy belly!

  1. Cooked bones: Turkey and ham bones can splinter in your dog’s digestive tract or cut their throat. In addition to not sharing, be sure to dispose of the bones carefully so your pup doesn’t sneak a taste when you aren’t looking.

  2. Turkey skin: Although very tempting, turkey skin can be extremely dangerous to your dog’s health. The skin is difficult to digest and can make your dog sick. It also holds the butter, marinades and spices, which can upset your dog’s stomach. Only give your dog white meat from the turkey.

  3. Onions and garlic: These contain sulfides, which are toxic to dogs and can lead to anemia. Onions are significantly more toxic than garlic. Cooking does NOT reduce their toxicity. Also avoid giving dogs casseroles that contain these items.

  4. Mushrooms: Mushrooms can have negative affect on many of the dog’s systems and can even be fatal.

  5. Nutmeg: Nutmeg can cause seizures and problems in your dog’s central nervous system if ingested (in extreme cases, it can even cause death). Keep in mind that there may be nutmeg hiding in sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie - both sweet potatoes & pumpkin are good for your dog in moderation, so if you plan to share them, leave the nutmeg out!

  6. Alcohol: It may seem harmless to share a sip with your 4-legged friend, but dogs actually get drunk like humans do. Any alcohol is dangerous, but particularly dangerous are hops in beer, which are toxic for dogs and can even lead to death.

  7. Nuts: Specifically walnuts and macadamia nuts are dangerous and toxic for dogs. Macadamias can cause “Macadamia nut toxicosis.” Within hours of eating them, symptoms may show that include vomiting, tremors, fever, or weakness in your dog. Although these symptoms may go away, they can also lead to deadly shock.

  8. Sage: Essential oils in sage can upset your dog’s stomach so keep this in mind when sharing anything that may contain this herb such as the turkey skin (which we already talked about!), gravy or casseroles.

  9. Cranberry sauce: If the cranberry sauce contains grapes, raisins or currants do NOT give it to the dog. Grapes contain a toxin that can damage dog’s kidneys.

  10. Chocolate, dough & batters: You’re probably already aware of the dangers chocolate pose to your pup, but did you know that raw dough can rise in your dog’s stomach and cause bloating or severe pain? Dough & batters may also contains raw eggs which could cause Salmonella.

So have a safe & wonderful Thanksgiving, and keep your pets safe and happy as well!

If you suspect that your pet has ingested a potentially poisonous substance,

call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.