Safe Thanksgiving Foods for Your Dog

Thanksgiving is a great time to celebrate with loved ones and enjoy some seriously delicious food. If you’re like many pet parents and plan to share some “people food” with your fur babies, we would like to share a few tips and reminders so that you and your dog can enjoy the holiday without regrets.

Turkey: When giving your dog turkey, make sure it is fully cooked and without bones. Bones can cause an obstruction, lacerations, or choking.

Bread: While bite-sized pieces of bread or rolls are on the safe list, be careful to keep your dog away from bread dough. If ingested, a dog’s body heat causes dough to rise and expand, which can lead to abdominal pain and a possible emergency situation.

Fruit: Many fruits, like slices of apples, oranges, and bananas, are safe for dogs. But, avoid giving them any fruits that contain seeds or pits, which can cause a bowel obstruction. Also avoid grapes and raisins which can cause kidney failure in dogs.

Herbs and Spices: Many seasonings can cause tummy troubles, or worse, in dogs. Avoid giving your dog foods seasoned with sage, nutmeg, or other spices. Onions and garlic (in all forms, including powdered) can lead to anemia. Baking soda and baking powder are also highly toxic to dogs. Bottom line: keep your pantry door closed and the food you are sharing with Fido as plain as possible.

Batter: Keep any dessert batter or cookie dough that contains raw eggs out of your pups reach as they, like humans, are at risk of food poisoning if they are exposed to salmonella or E. coli.

Please, NEVER give your dog the following:

Alcohol: Even a small amount can cause vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous system depression, problems with coordination, difficulty breathing, coma, even death. Please ensure your guests do not leave alcoholic drinks unattended.

Avocados or Guacamole: Large amounts of a substance in avocados called persin can be toxic to dogs.

Caffeine: In large enough quantities caffeine can be fatal for a dog. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, fits, and bleeding.

Macadamia Nuts: As few as six macadamia nuts can make a dog ill. Symptoms of poisoning include muscle tremors, weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters, vomiting, elevated body temperature, and rapid heart rate.

Xylitol: Candy, gum, toothpaste, baked goods, and some diet foods are sweetened with xylitol. Xylitol can cause an increase in the insulin circulating through your dog’s body. That can cause your dog’s blood sugar to drop and can also cause liver failure.

Remember that dogs, just like humans, CAN have too much of a good thing. Keep your dog feeling well by making sure he doesn’t overindulge. When in doubt, you can always give your pets special treats that were made for them, like a chew-bone or a Kong toy to put their food in.

Dogs are naturally curious and, no matter how cautious you are, it’s possible your dog can find and swallow something he shouldn’t. Always keep the numbers of your local vet, the closest emergency clinic, and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center — (888) 426-4435 — where you know you can find them in an emergency. If you think your dog has consumed something that’s toxic, call for emergency help at once.