Thanksgiving Foods Are Dangerous to Pets


Getting out all those harvest decorations and making those plans for a big Thanksgiving Day feast? That’s great! And, and leftover Halloween candy? Never share it with your pets because it’s potentially harmful to them. And that’s my not-at-all-clumsy transition to talking about Thanksgiving Day food and your pets—because this food is often dangerous to animals and many people aren’t aware of it! Your pets may come begging for some of that delicious food you and your family and friends are eating, but many of those food items aren’t safe for them.

(Dear all dogs, cats, and other household animals who may be reading this: No, I’m not spoiling your fun by telling humans to avoid giving you all those tasty treats you can smell on the dinner table. This is truly for your health and safety.)

Your Pet Is Not a Garbage Disposal for Leftovers

I know you love your furry friends a lot, and that you don’t really think of them as like a piece of equipment in the kitchen. But when you start tossing them leftovers as if they can eat anything, well, that’s a lot like treating them like a garbage disposal.

There is one thing your pets and a garbage disposal share in common: neither can handle turkey bones! It’s tempting to give a bone to your dog, but believe me, your dog is much better off with a bone toy instead of the real thing. Turkey bones can splinter easily, and this can cause serious intestinal damage to a dog. It’s true for cats as well, and cats love turkey.

The Tricky Case of the Thanksgiving Turkey

You might think that your Thanksgiving turkey itself isn’t harmful for pets. After all, turkey is often a main ingredient in the pet food they eat. But there’s a specific reason that your Thanks giving bird isn’t healthy for your pets to eat: the seasoning.

Seasoning is one of the reasons turkey at Thanksgiving tastes sooo good. But the turkey bastes in spices that contain alliums. Alliums are a cause of toxic anemia in pets. You’ll find alliums in plenty of other Thanksgiving foods, such as stuffing and mashed potatoes. In general, look out for onions, scallions, garlic, and leeks—these are all alliums!

Grapes and Artificial Sweeteners (And, Again, Chocolate)

Grapes are a no-no. Tests have shown they can cause kidney failure in dogs. If you use artificial sweeteners in cooking, please be aware that many of them are dangerous for animals. Please don’t try to figure out which ones are deadly—just keep them all away from your pets. Also keep in mind cooking chocolate that may be in prepared foods.


I really, really, really hope this one is obvious. Not that I think any of you give any alcohol to your pets on purpose, but I’m putting this reminder here because sometimes wine or beer might get left out or spilled during the holiday feasting, and even a small amount can be harmful. And be aware of any food recipes that contain liquor.

Everyone here at Russell & Abbott hopes you, your family, and your pets have a great November and festive Thanksgiving! If you need heating assistance in Maryville, TN, remember you can call on us!

Stay comfortable,


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