Thanksgiving Food Safety: Make No Bones About It!

Thanksgiving eve! Such a wonderful night to remind us of the upcoming holiday for food feasting (leading to food coma). Such a good time to remind pet pawrents out there about food safety for pets during the holidays. What do you need to know about keeping your dogs and cats safe around all that yummy people food this holiday season?


Turkey: A small amount of plain, white meat turkey is OK to give to your dog or cat. But don’t give them too much, and make sure they don’t eat things like skin, bones, drippings, seasonings, or gravy. Too much of these rich foods can result in intestinal upset (gastroenteritis) or even pancreatitis. Make sure cats don’t get on the counter or dogs in the trash to eat undercooked turkey or the turkey carcass.


Stuffing: The biggest danger of stuffing is the herbssageonion, and garlic used to season it. These foods can be toxic to dogs and cats, especially large quantities. Also make sure to keep your pets away from mushroomsraisins, grapes, or currants used in stuffing, these can be highly toxic to dogs.


Mashed Potatoes, Candied Yams, and Other Side Dishes: Traditional sides are dangerous for pets because they contain significant amounts of things like butter, cream, and other types of fat. Consumption of rich, heavy foods can lead to pancreatitis. Certain breeds of dogs (miniature schnauzers and silky/Yorkshire terriers) and dogs with preexisting health conditions like diabetes or endocrine disorders are especially at risk. Plain green beans and carrots are safe for pets.


Corn on the Cob: Keep corn on the cob and discarded corn cobs away from your dog. Dogs that swallow corn cobs are at risk of dangerous intestinal obstruction.


Homemade Bread and Rolls: It’s OK for your pet to eat a little plain bread, but the danger comes when you’re baking bread that contains yeast and your pet ingests the rising raw dough. The warmth of your pet’s stomach will trigger the fermentation that occurs when yeast and starch mix. Fermentation releases dangerous alcohol and gas into your pet’s system, leading to both alcohol poisoning and an obstructed stomach. Never leave dough out on the counter to rise overnight. Place any dough well out of reach of pets, such as in a turned-off oven.


Pumpkin Pie and Other Desserts: While a little plain pumpkin puree is fine for pets and can even help with their digestion, most prepared desserts are too rich for pets. Stay away from cinnamon, nutmeg and nuts! Be especially careful about keeping your pets away from chocolate, which is ultimately toxic to dogs and cats alike, and sugar-free desserts containing the sweetener Xylitol, which is very harmful to dogs.


Cooking and Leftovers: Make sure to protect your pets from ingesting things like aluminum foil, kitchen twine, rubber bands, and similar food prep or wrapping items that could pose a choking hazard or cause an intestinal blockage.

Alcohol and wine: Keep your wine glasses and beer bottles higher than snout level! Any sort of alcohol is toxic to your pets. Pay heed to foods that have been cooked in liquor, spirit, or beer. While it may be amusing to watch your dog getting a lil' intoxicated from a pint of beer, remember that ethanol will cause your pets to go into coma, or even respiratory failure!


If you believe your pet has been poisoned or eaten something it shouldn’t have, call your veterinarian or local veterinary emergency clinic immediately. You may also want to call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline: 888-426-4435. Signs of pet distress include: sudden changes in behavior, depression, pain, vomiting, or diarrhea. Remember: quick action can save lives!

Have a safe thanksgiving y'all pawsome pawrents, especially in this Covid-19 season!