BaxterBoo Blog
November 5, 2019

Thanksgiving Dog Food Hazards

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Yes, this is the obligatory public service announcement of the dangerous foods your dog may be exposed to from the holiday table. Even if you are already aware, it is still a good reminder and something to keep in mind during this food-filled holiday! All pet-related sites will remind us of the Thanksgiving food hazards, and for good reason, no one wants to end up at the veterinary emergency room!


Onions are found in quite a few Thanksgiving dishes. They are stuffed in the stuffing, potentially placed around the roasting turkey and are probably garnishing your green bean casserole. Green onions may top your salads.

Both raw and cooked onions are particularly dangerous to cats and dogs because they cause your pet's red blood cells to explode. Even a small amount can hurt your pet.

Symptoms of onion toxicity may include breathlessness, lethargy, diarrhea, and vomiting. It may take up to two to four days after your pet eats the onion for symptoms to appear, so it's important to call your vet immediately if you suspect or are sure your pet ate onions. Early treatment gives your pet the best hope for recovery.

Turkey Bones

It might seem natural to give pets bones, but cooked turkey and chicken bones will splinter and possibly lodge themselves in their throats, stomach or intestines. A pierced digestive track is nothing you want to mess with. Look for bloody stools which might indicate your pet pilfered a bird bone.

Yes, we know it's tempting to leave out the turkey carcass for a while because you'll be suffering from the effects of a heavy meal (not to mention just being tired from all the preparations). Enlist a helper to pick off the rest of the meat and double bag the bones before disposal.

Should you choose to, it is safe for you to share small, lean pieces of turkey meat with your dog or cat. Just do it in moderation as large changes in diet can induce unpleasant gastrointestinal side effects.

Fatty Foods

As mentioned earlier, a little bit of turkey is fine for pets, but skip the gravy and skin as these fat-filled foods can cause pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). Hidden fats may also be in the buttery mashed potatoes and stuffing.

Since the pancreas also creates insulin to metabolize sugars, lots of fatty sweets can be a double whammy for inducing pancreatitis or insulin problems.

Dogs that have gotten into the trash or eaten large amounts of people's food may show signs of pancreatitis with vomiting, a hunched-over appearance, and a bloated and very sore tummy.

If your pet shows any of these symptoms, veterinary care is important to treat the accompanying dehydration and pain your pet will feel. Complications can be quite severe, so early treatment is best.

Bread Dough

Raw bread dough contains yeast to make it rise. Should your pet eat dough, they will be feeling that swelling in their stomachs too. This makes them uncomfortable and gassy. Cake batters and cookie dough are also risky.


Sage is a wonderful spice in stuffing for humans, but sage is toxic to pets and, in particular, to cats. Sage messes with their central nervous system, so keep your cats away from foods that contain sage!

Nutmeg and cinnamon in large amounts are also toxic to pets. A little taste of pumpkin pie or sweet potatoes is fine, but the key is moderation.

Fruits and Nuts

We're not talking about creepy Uncle Charlie or neurotic Aunt Matilda here (though it might be wise for our furry friends to avoid them too)... Certain fruits you might put in a salad such as grapes or raisins are toxic for pets, possibly leading to kidney failure. Macadamia nuts and walnuts are also a no go because of fat and toxins.

Cranberries aren't bad for pets (and pet treats might even have them as an ingredient.) But the sugary cranberry sauce is not good for pets at all. Other nuts enjoyed in small amounts are probably okay.

We all want to make sure Thanksgiving and the days to follow are enjoyable and fun for all including our furry children! So make sure to keep these foods in mind this Thanksgiving to ensure your pup has a fabulicious day!


Dorrir on November 5 at 6:45 PM said:

This is. Wry useful. Can’t hear it enough

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This entry was posted by Rachel.

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