Your Pet and Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Dinner is a wonderful time together with friends and family. While this can be a wonderful way to add lean protein and fresh veggies to your pet’s diet, people tend to become overly generous with their pets. This means that dogs and cats will get a lot of table food scraps. In fact there are so many opportunities for your pet to eat something that can make them ill or even cause them harm.
Here are some great tips to remember to keep your dog and cat safe and happy during the holidays.

You Can Say Yes To:

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is fine for pets but because of the amount of sugar in it. It is probably best to only give a small amount to your pet.

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.

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 it may be best to give plain macaroni instead. This is especially true for cats since they often develop lactose intolerance when they become adults.

Mashed Potatoes

Potatoes are a great, filling vegetable to share with your pet. However even though the potatoes themselves are not harmful to pets, as with macaroni and cheese, be aware of additional ingredients used to make mashed potatoes. Ingredients such as cheese, sour cream, butter, onions, and gravies are no-no’s in your pet’s diet.


Turkey with all the fat removed can be a wonderful lean protein to share with your pet. So make sure to remove any excess skin or fat, stick with white meat, and make sure there are no bones and that it is well cooked and cut the meat up into bite sized pieces.

Don't offer raw or undercooked turkey to your pet, it could contain salmonella bacteria. Do not give your pet the left over carcass–the bones can be problematic for the digestive tract.

Say No To


Alcohol is definitely a big no-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 which often contains rum or other liquor.


Whether your bird is duck, goose or turkey, do not give the bones to your dog. Any dog cartoon features Fido carrying a bone around in his mouth, but the reality is that a cooked bone is often brittle and sharp pieces can get lodged in your dog’s intestine. Bird bones are hollow and break easily. Certain bones can lacerate or obstruct your pets' insides.

Bread Dough

Raw dough could actually rise in your pets sensitive tummy causing discomfort or an even more serious emergency.

Don't give your pet access to raw yeast bread dough. When a dog or cat ingests raw bread dough, the yeast continues to convert the sugars in the dough to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol. This can result in bloated drunken pets, which could become a life-threatening emergency, requiring hospitalization.

Cake Batter

While baking your Thanksgiving desserts, be sure to keep your pets out of the batter, especially if it includes raw eggs—they could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.

Raw eggs can cause salmonella infection in your pet, just as it can for anyone in your family. Stick to dog biscuits and kitty treats instead of this sugary concoction.


Is a well known off limits indulgence for pets. During the holidays however, baking chocolate is used in recipes and sometimes forgotten about. Make sure that your pet does not ingest any chocolate, especially the baking kind.

Not that we think that you would intentionally feed your dog chocolate (which we all know can be toxic to our canine friends), but since candy is often left out on tables during the holidays. Be sure to keep bowls filled with chocolate and other candies out of sight and out of reach of your dog.

Grapes and Raisins

Grapes, and raisins, can be toxic to your pets. Because they both contain a toxin that can cause kidney damage to both dogs and cats.


This one goes hand-in-hand with the turkey skin. Fatty foods and trimmings can cause Pancreatitis in dogs at worst and diarrhea or vomiting at “best.” Try substituting gravy with a little turkey broth if you really want to give your pet a treat.



Onions and onion powder, widely found in stuffing and used as a general seasoning, will destroy your dog or cat's red blood cells, which can lead to anemia.

Nothing with alliums (i.e., onions, garlic, leeks, scallions) should be ingested by your pet. While small, well-cooked portions of these foods can be okay, ingesting these foods in large quantities can lead to toxic anemia. If your pet is not used to ingesting these products, even a small amount could be detrimental.


Sage is another ingredient used quite often in Stuffing. Cats are especially sensitive to this herb. It can cause stomach upset and central nervous system depression.

Xylitol (Artificial Sweeteners)

If you think using artificial sweeteners is a healthier choice, you are dead wrong. Artificial sweeteners containing Xylitol are poisonous to animals, and potentially deadly to dogs.

Additional Information

Aluminum Foil and Plastic Wrap

There are two risks in allowing your pet access to aluminum foil and other food wrappings. One, they are likely to lick the fatty substances off the wrappings, and two, swallowing these can cause an intestinal obstruction. Also, look out for tooth picks, skewers and used silverware. Make sure to place these items securely in the garbage.

Diet and Exercise

Maintain your pet's regular meal and exercise schedule as much as possible and avoid too many holiday leftovers. A disruption in his dietary routine can cause stomach upset, diarrhea and/or vomiting.

Fresh Water

Make sure your pets water bowl is out of the way of guest but visible to your pet. When there are more people in the house, there's more chance to bump into the water bowl leaving it dry as a bone.

Garbage Can

A frustrated pet who can’t get a scrap out of his usually-generous parents may be tempted to dig around the trash can and find a good number of the no-no items listed above.

Keep an eye on the garbage and keep it securely fastened! If your pet gets into it, the health problems could be something as simple as gastric disturbance, vomiting and diarrhea to the worst-case scenario - death.

Quiet Time

Make sure your pet has a quiet retreat should the holiday festivities be too much for him. Watch his behavior to make sure he is not stressed.

The Kitchen

Thanksgiving is typically one of the busiest day of the year for the kitchen so you’ll want to keep your pet out. With hot dishes being moved from one counter to the next, there’s a real chance a dog that’s under foot could be burned or cut if something were to shatter.

While your family enjoys a special meal, give your cat and dog a small feast of their own. Offer them made-for-pets chew bones, or stuff their usual dinner with a few added tidbits of turkey and vegetables such as sweet potato or green beans. You can place these tidbits inside a food puzzle toy. They’ll be happily occupied for awhile, working to extract their dinner from the toy. Over indulgence and sometime even little tastes of any human food could also cause an inflammatory condition of the pancreas known as pancreatitis. In fact, if you have the fortitude, it’s probably best to keep your pets on their regular diets during the holidays.

Here’s wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving from the family at
Texas Pet Depot