5 Thanksgiving Foods Your Pet Needs to Avoid

Photo Credit: Chris Amaral

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks, eat great food and enjoy the company of our family and friends, which often includes our pets. While it’s wonderful to include your pets in your holiday traditions, it’s important to limit the amount and types of food that your pets consume on Thanksgiving. Foods that are fine for humans (and would seem okay for dogs) can actually be very dangerous for your pet.

The following foods should be avoided on Thanksgiving, no bones about it!

  • Turkey Bones: We’ve grown accustomed to the idea of “giving the dog a bone,” but turkey bones are small and can become lodged in a dog’s throat, stomach or intestinal tract. Additionally, these bones may splinter and cause severe damage to the stomach and could puncture the small intestine. Avoid feeding any turkey bones to your pets!
  • Fat Trimmings: Fatty meat, especially turkey skin may be the tastiest part, but it’s also very dangerous for your pet. Fatty foods like turkey skin and gravy are difficult for dogs to digest and consuming turkey skin can result in pancreatitis. Symptoms for this serious disease include vomiting, extreme depression, reluctance to move and abdominal pain.
  • Dough/Cake Batter: Do you remember your mother telling you not to eat the cookie dough? If you shouldn’t be eating it, neither should your pet. Since dough and cake batter contain raw eggs, the first concern is salmonella bacteria. The second concern is that the dough may actually rise in your dog’s belly (sound weird, but it’s possible). This can lead to vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating.
  • Raisins/Grapes: Grapes commonly make the list of foods dogs should avoid, but we like to remind people that they are very dangerous. Though the causes of their toxicity are unknown, we do know that they can cause kidney failure.
  • Mushrooms: Good for you, not for your dog. Mushrooms can damage your dog’s internal organs, including kidneys, liver and the central nervous system. If your dog does eat mushrooms, you can expect the following symptoms: seizures, coma, vomiting and possibly death.

Keep your vets number handy.

Should your pet become ill and show any of the above symptoms, be sure to have your veterinarian’s phone number and the local animal emergency hospital’s number on hand. A quick call to either of them can give you life-saving advice or even help you avoid a trip to the ER. You can reach Boston Veterinary Care at (617) 226-5605.

For a comprehensive list of all foods that dogs should avoid visit: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/people-foods.aspx