Pet Saftey

What Not To Feed Your Pet On Thanksgiving

Nov 23 • 2 minute read

Thanksgiving week is here! And although it’s always tempting to share the holiday feast with your pet, it’s our job as pet health professionals to remind you that table scraps (while delicious and seemingly innocent!) can actually be harmful for your pet and lead to health problems.

Can my pet partake in the turkey feast?

While generally pure turkey meat itself can be safe to consume for pets and can be found in many store-bought pet food brands, the way humans prepare turkey on Thanksgiving with all the seasonings, fatty skin on, and bone-in can lead to serious tummy troubles for your pet. Instead, opt for some turkey-flavored treats! Some pet food brands even make Thanksgiving inspired meals for pets if you feel like treating your pet to a five-star feast.

What about the bones?

Bones may seem harmless - after all, we buy bones for our dogs, right?! But poultry bones are razor thin (especially when cooked) and can easily splinter, which can cause your dog to choke and can also puncture the gastrointestinal tract, or get caught in their throat. Not only is this extremely painful for your pet, but it can also be fatal.

Is ham okay to feed pets?

In short - no pork in any form! Due to the high-fat nature of pork, it can lead to acute pancreatitis in dogs. Cats more commonly contract the chronic form of pancreatitis, and while it may not be as life threatening as the acute form, it can be very difficult to diagnose, (which means your cat could be in a lot of undetected pain). We often see a spike in dietary indiscretion appointments after Thanksgiving, especially those ending up with pancreatitis due to the ham they get fed.

What about a little taste of pumpkin pie?

Nope! There are no human desserts deemed safe for pets to consume. Remember that artificial sweeteners and chocolate can be fatal for pets. To be safe, keep the trash can and all accessible temptations out of reach for your pets.

Although it can be hard to say no to the wide-eyes and wagging tails, it’s best for your pet’s health, and will hopefully spare you any kind of Thanksgiving emergency. As a rule of thumb, avoid feeding your pet the following foods:

  • Turkey bones, skin, and gravy

  • Stuffing

  • Casseroles

  • Mashed potatoes

  • Creamed peas

  • Chocolate, cookies, pies, and sweets

  • Alcoholic beverages

  • Raisins and grapes

  • Onions, scallions, and garlic

  • Ham

  • Yeast dough

  • Fatty foods

  • Foods containing spices

Happy Thanksgiving, furiends!

Note: We will be closed all Thanksgiving day, but if you have any kind of emergency — please contact us or our 24/7 emergency partners. If you believe your pet has ingested something toxic or potentially poisonous, immediately call the ASPCA Poison Control Center: (888) 426-4435.


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