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5 Thanksgiving Foods to Avoid Giving Your Pets

Shelley is a Volunteer member of our education committee and contributed this story for the newsletter. Thanksgiving is just around the corner and that means a cornucopia of delicious food. However, many popular Thanksgiving dishes aren’t healthy for your pets to consume. Even though your dog or cat may be begging for scraps, avoid feeding them the following dishes: 

  1. Stuffing Stuffing is often made with onions, scallions, and garlic. These ingredients can cause gastrointestinal irritation and anemia, which can be life-threatening. Cats are more susceptible, but dogs are also at risk if consumed in large amounts. It is best to avoid feeding any amount of stuffing to pets. 
  2. Turkey Bones Feeding your dog a turkey bone may seem like a natural and healthy option. However, bones can be dangerous to pets, causing a choking hazard, or severe indigestion in dogs and cats. 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 digestive tract. 
  1. Mashed Potatoes While potatoes are safe for pets to eat, mashed potatoes usually contain butter and milk, which can cause diarrhea for some pets. Additionally, most recipes call for onion, garlic, and chives, which are very toxic to pets. 
  1. Grapes/Raisins Many sides and salads served at Thanksgiving include grapes or raisins, from your charcuterie board to a fruit salad. However, grapes and raisins are poisonous to pets and can potentially be deadly. Be sure to keep all dishes that include grapes and raisins away from pets. 
  1. Chocolate Although most Thanksgiving dinners aren’t complete without a pumpkin pie, many people offer a variety of chocolate and other desserts as well. Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats, yet dogs love the smell and taste of it. Moreso, the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is. If your pets ingest any of these foods this Thanksgiving, be sure to call your veterinarian immediately. The most important part of holiday pet safety is early action, which may prevent more costly and serious complications from developing. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

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