by Ashley Bentley, DVM

With Thanksgiving upon us, we’d like to give you a friendly reminder that some items on the dinner table can be harmful to the dogs and cats in your family.

Unless an animal has medical dietary restrictions, a small amount of dinner roll, cooked white meat turkey, or mashed potatoes are probably quite safe to share. Unfortunately, many Thanksgiving foods can be harmful to pets for various reasons and so the food items on the following list should be avoided:

  • Gravy or other greasy/fatty foods can pose risk for GI upset and/or pancreatitis.
  • Cooked bones. Any cooked bone can splinter in the GI tract and cause gastrointestinal obstruction and/or perforation.
  • Uncooked/rising yeast dough can cause potentially life-threatening bloating and gas build up in the GI tract.
  • Onions, raisins/currants, chocolate, macadamia nuts, and the artificial sweetener xylitol are all very toxic to dogs.
  • Turkey brine can cause salt toxicosis if a dog laps it up.
  • Uncooked poultry. As with people, dogs and cats are at risk for Salmonella from eating uncooked poultry.
  • Households with cats should avoid holiday centerpieces/floral arrangements containing lilies that could cause acute kidney injury in cats.

Have a look at this post for a few more tips on Thanksgiving with pets. Though these restrictions are true for the whole year, not just Thanksgiving, we know it’s helpful for people to have a reminder (especially when guests may be coming) to help avoid any unpleasantness, or worse.

thanksgiving foods can be harmful to pets

A turkey is the traditional centerpiece of a Thanksgiving dinner, but never give cooked turkey bones—or any other cooked bone—to pets as they can splinter in the GI tract.

Our Primary Care (wellness visits, vaccines, etc.) will be closed on Thanksgiving. But in the event that your pet needs emergency help, remember that Ann Arbor Animal Hospital Emergency Service is open all day, every day—including all holidays—to assist you. Call us any time at 734 662-4474.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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Ann Arbor Animal Hospital is a locally-owned animal hospital operating for over 90 years in Ann Arbor, MI.