These Thanksgiving Foods Are Dangerous for Pets

Thanksgiving is a fun-filled holiday centered around rich foods. 
Unfortunately, most of these foods are not safe for your pet to eat.
Keep reading to learn what animals can and can’t have on Thanksgiving Day.

Don’t Let Your Pet Eat These Thanksgiving Day Foods

Keep the following foods away from your furball. 


Onions, scallions, and garlic are typically added to stuffing to enhance its flavor.  That might seem great to your taste buds, but these foods could endanger your pet by causing anemia.

Grapes and Raisins

Cool-season salads are often tossed with grapes and raisins, two other foods that are toxic to animals. 


According to Dr. Eva Evans, pork can make pets feel very uncomfortable by causing pancreatitis, upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

Turkey Bones

Bones are dangerous for dogs.  Allowing your pooch to gnaw on a turkey leg can lead to vomiting and bowel obstruction. 

The bone might even harm your dog’s intestines if it splinters.  In the worst-case scenario, the splinter would puncture your dog’s intestines, leading to a life-ending infection.  

Mashed Potatoes

Plain potatoes pose no risk to pets, but the addition of butter and milk to mashed potatoes may cause diarrhea in pets that can’t tolerate lactose.  Onion and garlic powder make this dish even more dangerous.  

Salty Snacks

While waiting for the feast, you might serve salty snacks like chips or pretzels.  The ASPCA claims that such foods can cause, “excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium lead poisoning,” in pets. 

Avoid this by keeping the snack platter out of your pet’s reach. You should also keep an eye on your dog or cat to ensure there are no attempts to steal some snacks.


Nuts are another snack food that your guests would appreciate, but they are dangerous for your pet.  According to the ASPCA, nuts can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and pancreatitis.


Chocolate and the artificial sweetener Xylitol are toxic to animals.  If you are planning on using either of these ingredients in your desserts, you might want to find some other recipes. 

If you have your heart set on serving chocolate for dessert, keep a close eye on your pet and make sure your guests understand that slipping some sweets to your pet is not allowed.

Your Pet Can Enjoy These Thanksgiving Day Foods

Although you must protect your fur baby, don’t deprive your pet of all the fun. Your dog or cat can still enjoy some treats on Thanksgiving.  Here are a few safe ideas.

Unseasoned Turkey

Turkey slices with the skin and seasonings are a no-no, but some plain turkey is fine for your pet.  Just don’t forget to take out any bones that could be lurking in your pet’s serving of turkey.  

Plain Pumpkin

Pumpkin pie is not allowed, but some plain pumpkin certainly is.  This food is enjoyable and good for your pet’s health.

Sweet Potatoes  

Plain, cooked sweet potatoes are another acceptable treat for your dog or cat.  But don’t give your pet a bite of the marshmallow covered potatoes because that could cause an upset tummy.  

Green Beans

Green bean casserole is off the list of pet-approved treats, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give your dog a few raw green beans.   Full of fiber and vitamins, these treats are actually healthy for your canine


If you are making apple pie, set aside a few apple slices to give to your pet.  You could also combine some apple cubes with plain yogurt and freeze the mixture in an ice tray.

If your pet does manage to get a hold of any foods that are toxic for animals, call your veterinarian right away.  Taking immediate action may keep the worst-case scenario from happening.        

But being careful and keeping a close watch over your pet greatly decreases the odds of your furry friend getting into dangerous foods.

And remember, your pet can enjoy some holiday treats too.  Just make sure those foods are safe for your pet!

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