Thanksgiving Foods that are Toxic for Dogs

Does your pup watch your every move when you’re cooking or eating? What about during Thanksgiving prep, are they right at your feet waiting to snag anything that drops? We even know some opportunists who wait during the festivities to steal appetizers when no one is looking. These pups will try anything for some delicious turkey day goodies but there are risks involved because many of our favorite holiday foods are toxic to dogs and other animals.

That’s why it’s important to be extra cautious during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. To avoid dangerous situations or worse, trips to the emergency vet, get to know these potentially harmful foods:

  1. Stuffing: Favored by humans but not so much by our pups’ digestive tracks. Stuffing is often made with garlic, onions, chives, and scallions, which are extremely toxic to dogs and cats. These ingredients can damage membranes of red blood cells, which can cause life-threatening anemia. It’s best to avoid giving these Thanksgiving staples to your furry friends. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and loss of appetite. Unfortunately, these usually don’t show up immediately.
  2. Turkey skin, bones and twine: Cooked turkey bones can cause severe irritation to our pups’ stomach and intestines, or worse, they can splinter off and puncture through the stomach and cause serious fatal abdominal issues. When resting or even during dinner, make sure to keep your turkey in a secure area where pups can’t get to it. Fatty turkey skin has the potential to create gastrointestinal issues and cause inflammation in the pancreas. Don’t forget about the twine! This little rope keeps your turkey tied together during the cooking process and gets soaked in yummy turkey juices. These flavored smells will leave some pups extra curious so make sure to properly dispose of it right away or digesting this could cause obstruction to your pup’s intestines and some may even carry harmful bacteria.
  3. Corn: Although a handful of corn kennels usually isn’t bad for dogs, unless they’re allergic, a whole cob is difficult for pups to digest and can cause bowel obstruction that can sometimes require surgery. Best to avoid giving your dog corn.
  4. Pumpkin pie: While pumpkins are good for dogs as they can help their digestive health, the fall favorite dessert is full of dangerous ingredients such as sugar and worse, Xylitol, which is very toxic for dogs. Nutmeg is also used to spice up pumpkin pies but it can cause seizures and central nervous system problems. It is better to be safe and offer your pup some plain, fresh pumpkin instead.

Did any of these foods surprise you?

Keep in mind that dogs can enjoy plain Thanksgiving feast favorites such as turkey meat, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and peas. Just remember to skip anything that has additional spices, butter and other rich ingredients. If you have any questions, ask your vet! The more you know before the holidays, the more your pup will be happy and healthy all season long.

If you think that your pooch has ingested one of these foods and is acting strange, or has symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, lack of coordination, etc. take them to the vet immediately.

For more information, check out these sites here, here, and here.