10 Thanksgiving Food Do’s and Don’t for Your Pet

With the holidays approaching, your dog or cat will inevitably be begging to partake in the big turkey dinner. Over half of America’s pet owners admit they share Thanksgiving table scraps with their pets. While this can be a wonderful way to add lean protein and fresh veggies to your pet’s diet, there are also hidden dangers in holiday fare. This year, before preparing a heaping plateful for your pet, consult a vet and consider these 10 tips to keep Thanksgiving a safe, healthy holiday for your dog or cat.

YESYES to Turkey
Turkey can be a wonderful lean protein to share with your pet. Just make sure you remove any excess skin or fat, stick with white meat, and make sure there are no bones. Bone shards can perforate the esophagus, stomach or intestines and lead to a painful death.


NONO to Onions & Garlic
Nothing with alliums (i.e., onions, garlic, leeks, scallions) should be eaten by your pet. While it is true that small, well-cooked portions of these foods can be okay if your pet is used to it, eating them in large quantities can lead to toxic anemia.


YESYES to Mashed Potatoes
Potatoes are a great, filling vegetable to share with your pet. However even though the potatoes themselves are not harmful to pets, be aware of additional ingredients used in your favorite mashed potatoes recipes. Cheese, sour cream, butter, onions and gravies are no-no’s in a pet’s diet.


NONO to Grapes
Many people are unaware that grapes, and subsequently raisins, can be toxic to pets. The fruit has been shown to cause kidney failure in dogs.


YESYES to Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry sauce is just fine for pets but watch the amount of sugar in it. It is probably best to only provide a small helping to your pet’s plate.


NONO to Xylitol
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol used as a sweetener. While you may choose to cook or bake with artificial sweeteners over the real thing, foods containing Xylitol are poisonous to animals, and potentially deadly to dogs. And don’t forget gum — there are quite a few chewing gums that contain Xylitol.


YESYES to Macaroni and Cheese
If you know your pet’s stomach handles dairy alright, macaroni and cheese is a safe leftover to share. If you are unsure though, it may be best to just give plain macaroni. Cats often develop lactose intolerance when they become adults.


NONO to Chocolate
Chocolate is a well known off limits indulgence for pets. During the holidays however, baking chocolate is used in recipes and sometimes forgotten about by the time the dishes hit the table. Make sure this holiday season that your pet doesn’t eat any chocolate, especially the baking kind. And remember, the darker the chocolate, the more harmful it is to your pet.


YESYES to Green Beans
Plain green beans are a wonderful treat for pets. Fresh vegetables are a great addition to any diet. If the green beans are included in a green bean casserole though, be conscious of the other ingredients in it.


NONO to Alcohol
Alcohol is definitely a big NO for pets. What we may consider a small amount can be toxic for a smaller animal. Also, keep in mind that alcohol poisoning can occur in pets from atypical items like fruit cake or plum pudding where the recipe may have called for rum or other liquor.