Follow Us

facebook_icontwitter_iconSign up for Woof Report Newslettersrss_icon

Thanksgiving Safety for Dogs

Published: Nov. 16, 2010
Subject: Pass the Turkey
Category: K9 Care

Thanksgiving Safety for Dogs

Thanksgiving Safety for Dogs

Our dogs are part of the family, so naturally we want to share the Thanksgiving holiday with them. And that tends to mean sharing bits and pieces of all of the wonderful holiday food being served. It’s tempting because everyone is indulging, so pet parents need to know:  What Thanksgiving foods can your dog enjoy, and which are dangerous?


Keep reading to learn how to keep your dog safe with all the goodies at the holiday table, but first a few general safety pointers if you're hosting the Thanksgiving feast:


  • Read Woof Report’s past tip on getting your dog ready for guests in your home.
  • Let your guests know that feeding your dog is off-limits. When you stress it’s for your pup’s safety and well-being, you’ll help them get past those fine-tuned persuasive tactics your dog employs.
  • Dog proof your kitchen trash can to keep your dog’s super sniffer from scavenging edible and not-so-edible holiday goods.


If you must offer your dog a Thanksgiving treat…

  • Make it a small sampling, and reduce the amount food in your dog’s regular meal and treats so there’s no increase in total calories.
  • Offer her a small amount of cooked turkey without skin and gravy, and do not include any bones since turkey bones do splinter.
  • Offer her cooked vegetables - sweet potatoes, green beans, and squash are safe for pups, as is cooked or canned pumpkin since it’s low in calories and high in fiber. (Note: cooked or canned pumpkin is not the same as pumpkin pie!)
  • Consider giving your dog a fun Thanksgiving treat or toy instead of food – see Woof Report’s Thanksgiving picks here.


For foods to avoid feeding your dog (and cat), we turn to Purina Care and PurinaCare's "chief vet," Dr. Bill Craig, DVM, who has provided the following list of traditional Thanksgiving foods that are dangerous to pets. In addition to the list below, avoid feeding your pets any foods that are high in fat, salt or sugar, or those with heavy or greasy sauces.


Bones – Many pet owners want to hand over left over bones from the turkey, ham or steak to the dog, but these small bones can become lodged in the throat, stomach, or intestinal tract or break into splinters, causing extensive damage to the stomach and gastro-intestinal tract if swallowed, even puncturing the small intestines.


Dough and Cake Batter – The combination of raw bread dough and the pet’s body heat can cause the dough to rise inside the stomach, resulting in vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating. The batter used in cakes and pies usually contains raw eggs which could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.


Onion and Garlic – These ingredients contain sulfides, which are toxic to animals and can cause the destruction of red blood cells, especially in cats, causing Heinz body anemia.


Sage – This, as well as many other herbs, contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression to pets, especially in cats.


Raisins and Grapes – They are a choking hazard to pets and ingestion of either can cause significant kidney damage.


Walnuts and Macadamia Nuts – These can cause weakness, depression, incoordination, and tremors. In addition, the high fat levels of these nuts may cause pancreatitis in dogs, resulting severe vomiting and diarrhea.


Chocolate – Chocolate can be toxic for pets, or even fatal, due to a substance called theobromine found in chocolate.


Mushrooms – These can produce damage to a number of internal organs, including kidneys, liver, and the central nervous system. If a dog eats mushrooms, seizures, coma, vomiting, even death can occur.


Chewing Gum and Candy – Many contain Xylitol, an artificial sweetener that can cause a severe drop in blood glucose in dogs and As soon as 30 minutes after ingestion, dogs can begin to show signs of depression, loss of coordination, and seizures. Xylitol may also lead to delayed onset damage to the liver occurring days to weeks after ingestion. Xylitol toxicity in pets may be fatal and requires immediate medical attention.


Beer – Alcohol, especially the hops in beer, can be particularly harmful to dogs, causing intoxication, panting, fever, racing heart, liver damage, even coma, seizures and death.


The Scoop:

Thank you toPurina Care and PurinaCare's "chief vet," Dr. Bill Craig, DVM for the food safety tips.


Woof Report wishes you and your fur family a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!


Thank you to Robert Terrell on flickr for the photo of Montana.

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites


0 #2 Chara 2014-03-19 22:00
Hi, i think that i saw you visited my site thus i came to go
back the want?.I'm attempting to in finding issues to enhance my web site!I suppose its good enough
to use some of your ideas!!

Also visit my web blog: Reverse Your Diabetes Today (
0 #1 2011-10-26 15:26
Great tips! Don't forget about mushrooms and nutmeg. Nutmeg is especially sneak as it is used in sweet potatoe and pumpkin recipes. Both of those things are good for dogs - just leave off the nutmeg.

Add comment

Security code

K9 Care

Expert dog health & wellness tips for taking an active role in your dog’s health, providing the best care and keeping her safe.

More Bones to Chew On

Doggie news, research findings, fun facts, breed info and answers to those pressing questions you have about your fur family.

Lend a Paw

Ideas for helping shelter pets near and far, and for supporting animal welfare causes – see how easy it is to make a difference!

Dog People's Choice

The best in dog themed items for the home, to wear, to customize and to collect, plus gift guides for the dog lover in your life.
© 2012 Woof Report
Illustrations by Michelle Imbach
Site maintenance by FortySix Web