Thanksgiving Foods that May be Harmful for Your Pet

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and everyone’s thoughts turn to food. What will we have for dinner? Turkey of course and stuffing, but does your family go with mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes, peas or green beans, pumpkin pie or apple pie? Maybe you go with all of the above! I know our pets would sure appreciate that dinner table.

Speaking of pets, holiday time can carry hidden dangers when it comes to the quantity and variety of foods. It’s not just the volume and frequency, but you have lots of family members and friends sneaking Fido scraps under the table!

While a slice or two of turkey isn’t going to harm your pet, there are foods that are typically found during the holiday season that may be harmful if eaten by your dog or cat and you should take care to keep them away from your pets.

Potential harmful foods for your pet:

  • Alcoholic beverages: may cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, difficulty breathing, tremors, coma and even death.
  • Chocolate and caffeine (coffee and tea): foods extracted from the cacao plant contain methylxanthines which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rates and even death.
  • Stoned fruits (cherries, peaches, avocados - fruits with a pit): the pits may become lodged in the intestines and cause damage.
  • Grapes/raisins: known to possibly cause kidney failure in dogs.
  • Nuts, including walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts: the high amount of oil and fats found in nuts may cause intestinal issues and even lead to pancreatitis. Macadamia nuts are particularly harmful to dogs and may cause depression, vomiting and even hypothermia.
  • Xylitol (artificial sweetener, found in candy and gum): causes an insulin release that may lead to liver failure.
  • Yeasted dough: if ingested, it will rise in the stomach and cause problems, possibly even bloat.
  • Onions, garlic and herbs: may cause intestinal irritation.

If your pet ingests any of these items over the holidays (or anytime) call the ASPCA Poison Control Center immediately for assistance:

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number:                  (888) 426-4435

We hope you enjoy a safe and healthy holiday. Ensure your pet enjoys the holidays too by keeping these food items out of their reach.

Additional Sources:

ASPCA Poison Control: People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets
The Human Society: Foods that can be Poisonous to Pets Can I Give my Dog Holiday Food at Thanksgiving?

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