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Dangerous Thanksgiving Foods

Dangerous Thanksgiving Foods
Published on: November 20, 2017

Get ready for the feast!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! One of the best things about this time of year are all of the delicious foods and yummy smells around the house. It’s the perfect opportunity to spoil ourselves and our animal companions a little. However, not all of the foods we enjoy are safe for our pets. It’s important that we only feed pet-safe foods to our cats and dogs this holiday season! Take a look at some of the dangers lurking on the dinner table.

Give a dog a bone

A photo of a pug with a bone in its mouth.Ham and turkey are both popular main dish choices for Thanksgiving dinner. The cat and dog might enjoy a little treat-size portion of the meat, but you shouldn’t give them the bones. Poultry and pork bones, along with most other cooked bones, can splinter and cause serious damage to your pet. The shards can injure mouths, tongues, throats and intestines. Instead, only use bones you bought from a trusted source that are made for pets to consume. Make sure the bone is the right size for your pet to reduce the risk of choking. It’s best to feed bones 10 – 15 minutes after your pet has eaten a meal. This way they aren’t hungry and are less likely swallow large pieces. Only use bones as an occasional treat as they can take a long time to digest.

Sides for Thanksgiving

Stuffing is definitely a Thanksgiving staple. It makes the perfect sponge for gravy! However, make sure you check the ingredients carefully before sharing with your pet. Stuffing and other sides like mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole and soup often include onions, shallots or chives. No matter what form they’re in, these root vegetables are poisonous to both dogs and cats. According to, “Onions contain a toxic principle known as N-propyl disulfide. This compound causes a breakdown of red blood cells, leading to anemia in dogs.” Instead, give your pet a small piece of plain bread, or healthy vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes as a tasty treat.

Just desserts

A photo of a small dog chewing on a Thanksgiving roll.Most people know that chocolate is toxic for cats and dogs. For more information on the dangers of chocolate and other candies, check out our blog post on Halloween candy. However, candy isn’t the only dessert to worry about. While you’re cooking, always keep an eye on your ingredients or make sure your pet can’t get into the kitchen. Bread or pastry dough is easy to steal off the counter, but could cause harm to your furry friend. Raw doughs could rise and expand in your pet’s stomach causing discomfort or a possible blockage. If your pet needs an after-dinner sweet treat, just stop by the bakery at your local Wag N’ Wash!

Beverage service

It’s not uncommon to have beers, wines or liquors around the dinner table, but make sure anything with alcohol stays out of reach of your pets. Alcohol can rapidly be absorbed in your pet’s blood stream and cause major problems, so always keep it away from pets. It’s important to remember that a pet, even a large dog, is only a fraction of the size of an average person. The smaller the pet, the less alcohol it takes to cause damage. According to, “Ingestion of alcohol can cause dangerous drops in blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature. Intoxicated dogs and cats can experience seizures and respiratory failure.”

While it can be hard to resist those begging puppy-dog eyes, remember that people food can often make our pets sick. If you want to give your cat or dog something special for the holidays, talk to Wag N’ Wash team member for suggestions on foods, treats, baked goods and more.