7 Thanksgiving Foods That Could Be Dangerous for Your Pets

7 Thanksgiving Foods That Could Be Dangerous for Your Pets


Thanksgiving is all about family, gratitude, and of course, a delicious feast! While it's a time of joy and celebration, it's essential to remember our furry family members in the whirlwind of activity and tasty treats. Many foods that are harmless or even healthy for humans can pose serious risks to pets. To ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday for everyone, here are seven Thanksgiving foods to keep away from your pets, along with tips for managing the festive chaos.

1. Onion and Garlic

These flavorful kitchen staples are often used in stuffing, gravies, and the turkey itself. However, both onion and garlic contain compounds that can cause gastrointestinal upset and potentially lead to red blood cell damage in pets.

Safety tip: If you’re planning to share some turkey with your pet, set aside a portion to cook without these ingredients.

2. Cooked Bones

It might be tempting to toss your dog a bone from your Thanksgiving turkey, but cooked bones splinter easily, which can lead to choking or severe damage to your pet's digestive tract.

Safety tip: Provide your dog with a pet-safe chew toy to keep them occupied while you enjoy your meal.

3. Dry Fruits

While nuts are a healthy snack for humans, certain types like macadamia nuts and walnuts are highly toxic to dogs. Ingestion can lead to neurological symptoms, including tremors and weakness.

Safety tip: Keep bowls of nuts well out of your pet’s reach, ideally on high shelves or in closed cabinets.

4. Sage and Other Herbs

Sage and many other herbs contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression in cats and dogs if consumed in large quantities.

Safety tip: Use these herbs sparingly and ensure your pet doesn’t have access to the dishes that contain them.

5. Chocolate

All forms of chocolate are dangerous for dogs and cats. The darker the chocolate, the more harmful it can be. Chocolate toxicity can result in serious health issues, including heart arrhythmias and seizures.

Safety tip: Ensure that all sweets, especially chocolate, are out of your pet's reach at all times.

6. Alcohol

Alcohol can cause not only intoxication in pets, as it does in humans, but potentially severe abdominal discomfort, central nervous system depression, and even respiratory failure.

Safety tip: Always keep your drinks unattended and remind guests not to leave their cups where pets can reach them.

7. Turkey Skin

While the lean meat of turkey is safe in small amounts, the skin is often coated in spices and is high in fat, which can cause pancreatitis.

Safety tip: When sharing turkey meat with your pet, make sure it’s plain and skinless.

Additional Tips for a Pet-Safe Thanksgiving:

  • Secure the Trash: Make sure that all garbage is securely disposed of in a covered bin to prevent your pet from digging through items that could be harmful.
  • Create a Quiet Space: With the hustle and bustle of guests, some pets might feel overwhelmed. Designate a quiet room or space where your pet can retreat and relax.
  • Monitor Children: Teach children how to interact safely and gently with pets. Supervise any interactions to prevent accidental injuries or stress.
  • Floral Arrangements and Decorations: Many holiday plants, like poinsettias, and decorations can be toxic or cause obstructions if ingested. Keep these out of reach or consider pet-safe alternatives.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can help ensure that your Thanksgiving is enjoyable for both your two-legged and four-legged family members. Share with us how do you plan to make this Thanksgiving special while keeping your pet safe and happy?