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Unknown Hazards of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for all the loved ones in our lives- including our pets. It is a holiday to spend with loved ones, sitting together, eating good food, and sharing memories. But, it can also be a time of potential dangers and stress for your pets.

Holiday Feasts

Thanksgiving is synonymous with overindulgence: a big turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, gravy, pumpkin pie, and several drinks. But many Thanksgiving feast items are toxic to our pets.

  • Avoid giving your pet fatty foods like turkey, turkey skin, or ham as even a small amount may cause pancreatitis! Instead make them their own tasty Thanksgiving treat with foods that are safe for dogs such as carrots, celery, corn (no cob), sweet potatoes (no marshmallows), green beans, apples, and pumpkin.

  • Make sure the garbage is secure! Your pet might be tempted by the smell of the turkey carcass with bones and scraps in your garbage and may try to open or break into your garbage to eat them. If cooked bones are eaten by your pet, they can easily splinter and cause damage to your pet’s digestive tract when swallowed. Instead, place the leftovers or discarded pieces into a secure bag in the bin outside or in a locked location behind a closed door that your pet cannot access.

  • Onions, leeks, and garlic can be toxic to dogs, so please keep any food items - like stuffing and casseroles - containing these ingredients away from your pets.

  • Desserts for you, not your pet! Like we discussed in our blog “Trick or Treat is No Treat for Pets”, chocolate is toxic to dogs and many sweets contain xylitol, which can be deadly for our pets. Grapes and raisins can be toxic for pets.


If you’re hosting a Thanksgiving meal or party at your home, you might be happy to see all of your friends or family, but the louder noises, large groups of people, and increased activity levels might upset your nervous, fearful, or overtly excitable pet.

Take the below steps to reduce stress for your pets in advance.

  • Watch your pets around holiday decorations such as balloons, tinsel, plastic leaves, or a lit candle. As your pet may find them highly interesting and investigate them with their mouth such as chewing them- which may cause choking or an intestinal blockage

  • Get your pet used to one room in your home being a “safe” room with calming music to drown out the noise, fun enrichment like a stuffed KONG, your pet’s favorite toys, beds, crates, water dishes, and a hidey space for cats.

  • If you know your pet is highly stressed by meeting or seeing new people, then talk to your veterinarian in advance for calming solutions as any dog can bite!

  • Please make sure your pets are wearing their identification tags and have been microchipped and registered with your current information. So if your pet becomes lost during the holidays, such as if a guest leaves a door open or a loud noise scares your pet, there’s a higher possibility they will be returned to you.

Make sure your pet is microchipped before the holidays.

We hope these tips help you keep your furry family members safe
this Thanksgiving!

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