Thanksgiving Pet Safety: Dangers at the Dinner Table

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Thanksgiving is a special holiday that brings together family and friends, but it also can carry some hazards for pets. Follow these tips to keep your pets healthy and safe during the holiday.



Dangers at

The Dinner Table


Poison risks

Keep the food on the table, no under it. Consuming turkey or even turkey skin in even the smallest amount can cause a life-threatening condition known as pancreatitis. Fatty foods such as turkey are difficult for animals to digest. Some foods are even outright poisonous for pets, like onions, raisins, and grapes (which can cause kidney failure in a pet).

No desserts. Chocolate can be harmful to pets. The artificial sweetener called xylitol – commonly used in gum and sugar-free baked goods – also can be deadly if consumed by dogs or cats. Read more on chocolate toxicity on our site. Another concern is raw batter that contains eggs, which could expose them to salmonella bacteria that can lead to food poisoning.

No raw yeast dough. Once consumed, the yeast continues to convert the sugars in the dough to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol, which can induce painful gas and potentially dangerous bloating.

Properly dispose of bones, and put trash where your pets can’t find it. A turkey carcass left alone on a carving table or in the trash with the container open could be deadly to your pet. When disposing of a turkey carcass, bones, and any additional materials—such as wrappings and strings—should be covered, tightly secured in its own trash bag, and placed into a garbage bin outside or in the garage where a pet can’t easily reach it.

Some decorative plants are toxic. From amaryllis, Baby’s Breath, Sweet William, some ferns, hydrangeas, and more. The ASPCA provides a full list of plants that are toxic to dogs and cats, but your best bet is to keep table decorations out of your pet’s reach.


What is safe for your pet to eat?

Cooked vegetables such as plain green beans and carrots are safe for pets.

Mashed potatoes are another great treat so long as there is nothing extra added to them like gravy, onions, butter, garlic, or sour cream. Sweet potatoes are preferred for their high fiber and carotene content, as well as vitamin C & B6.

Breast meat in small doses. Be sure to remove all of the bones and skin.

Apples in small servings are delicious and rich in important antioxidants, flavonoids, and dietary fiber. Just don’t give them any of that apple pie!

Canned natural pumpkin—and not pie filling) or cooked fresh pumpkin is safe in small servings. Pumpkin can help regulate your dog’s digestive and urinary health and is a top ingredient in high-quality kibbles. Again—no pie!

If you want to make them a special treat, consider one of our many pet-friendly recipes.

We hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

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