Six Thanksgiving Foods That Are Bad for Your Pets

What Foods are Toxic to Dogs and Cats? Originally publised by HART for Animals

With Thanksgiving a few weeks away, it’s important to remember which foods are bad for dogs and cats. Especially during holiday meals when they beg for table scraps, and guests might fall for those cute faces.

Here are six Thanksgiving foods that are bad for cats and dogs. Make sure to keep these away from your pets to ensure they remain healthy this Thanksgiving. Also, don’t forget to inform your family and dinner guests about these potentially dangerous or toxic foods, so they don’t feed them to your four-legged family members.

1. Stuffing
Thanksgiving dressing is often made with onions, scallions, or garlic. These ingredients are highly toxic to dogs and cats and can cause life-threatening anemia (destruction of the red blood cells). It’s best to avoid feeding any amount of stuffing to pets.

2. Ham
Ham and other pork products can cause pancreatitis, upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea. Pork is also high in fat, which can lead to obesity in pets. Even a small amount of ham can contribute a substantial amount of calories to a small dog or cat’s diet.

3. Turkey Bones
Bones can cause severe indigestion in dogs and cats, potentially resulting in vomiting and obstructing the bowel. Bones may also splinter and cause damage to the inside of the stomach and intestines. In some cases, turkey bones may even puncture through the stomach and cause a fatal abdominal infection.

4. Mashed Potatoes
While potatoes are safe for pets to eat, mashed potatoes usually contain butter and milk, which can cause diarrhea in lactose-intolerant pets. Additionally, some recipes call for onion powder or garlic, which are very toxic to pets.

5. Salads with Grapes/Raisins
Many salads served at Thanksgiving include grapes or raisins as an ingredient, such as fruit salad, Waldorf salad, and ambrosia. However, grapes and raisins are very virulent and potentially deadly. Grapes can cause severe, irreversible, and sometimes fatal kidney failure in dogs. Be sure to keep all dishes that include grapes and raisins away from pets.

6. Chocolate Desserts
While pumpkin pie is the most famous Thanksgiving dessert (canned pumpkin also has many pet health benefits), many people offer a variety of chocolate desserts at Thanksgiving. Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats, yet dogs love the smell and taste of it. The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is. Keep all chocolate desserts out of the reach of pets to prevent an emergency trip to the veterinarian.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving! If your pets ingest any of these foods this Thanksgiving, please call the Bredel Veterinary at 301.387.7729. Our office is open the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 26.