dogs and bones

Thanksgiving Food Pet Safety Tips

by Sam Salvati - 07/06/20

We are all so busy preparing our Thanksgiving dinners that it’s easy to forget about our dogs and cats. Our pets are constantly scrounging for our food, and Thanksgiving is their perfect opportunity.

Going into the week of Thanksgiving, you should check if your vet is going to be available on Thanksgiving and find a replacement if not.

Use these Thanksgiving pet tips to make sure your furry companion is safe this holiday.

Thanksgiving Foods Not to Feed Dogs and Cats

Garlic and Onions

basket of garlic cloves

Despite their essential role in adding flavor to our favorite Thanksgiving dishes, these garnishes can cause serious health issues for both dogs and cats. As members of the allium family, garlic and onion can split red blood cells in animals' blood, giving your pup anemia.

Stuffing, green bean casserole, and gravy often contain garlic and onions.

Turkey Bones

Although it may look like one of your dog's chew toys, turkey bones can be very dangerous for dogs.

If swallowed, turkey bones can cause intestinal tears and bowel obstruction in our pets. These conditions often require emergency surgery.

Turkey Skin and Drippings

turkey skin and drippings

Turkey skin and drippings contain too much fat for our pets. If consumed, these turkey scraps can cause conditions that range from nausea and discomfort to acute pancreatitis, which requires veterinary assistance.

A small piece of just turkey meat is harmless.


dogs and dessert

Our favorite sweets can be the most toxic foods for dogs and cats. Both chocolate and the artificial sweetener present in most Thanksgiving treats can be highly toxic in large enough quantities.

To avoid any scares, place your desserts on a high surface out of reach of any of your pets.

Grapes and Raisins

grapes and dogs

Although they aren't the most common Thanksgiving food, if you plan on serving anything containing grapes or raisins, be sure to keep them away from your pooches.

Most believe there is something poisonous in the skin of these fruits that causes a dangerous reaction in dogs. Some symptoms of raisin or grape toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, and tremors. If you believe your dog has consumed raisins or grapes, contact pet poison control.

Safe Thanksgiving Foods for Dogs and Cats

Although you should be more aware of the Thanksgiving foods not to feed dogs and cats, here is a list of some foods that are okay for them to eat in controlled amounts.

Fruits and Vegetables

ruits and vegetables for dogs

Fresh fruits and vegetables are the safest Thanksgiving food option for your pets. If you want to treat your companion this holiday, raw pumpkin, baked or boiled potatoes, raw or cooked carrots, or green beans all make great treats for your pals.

Keep the fruits and veggies basic because as soon as they are prepared with other foods or garnishes, they become unhealthy for your pets.

Plain Turkey Meat

healthy dog on thanksgiving

Although you don't want to stuff your pet with a plate full of turkey, small amounts of entirely plain turkey are suitable for your pet this Thanksgiving.

If any emergencies occur where you believe your pet has consumed a dangerous substance, don't be afraid to contact a pet poison helpline.

Pasadena native Sam Salvati is the adoring dog dad to Pablo, Ester and Farris. He enjoys keeping abreast of and writing about the latest developments in pet care.