Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and delicious food. It’s only natural that you’d want to share this special occasion with your fur baby. While it’s tempting to treat your dog to some of the delicious Thanksgiving dishes, it’s crucial to be aware of the foods that can be harmful to them. In this blog, we’ll discuss Thanksgiving foods to avoid feeding your dog and provide safe alternatives that you can share with your furry best friend.
Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Dog
- Turkey Bones
Avoid giving your dog turkey bones, especially the small ones. Cooked bones can splinter and cause serious internal injuries. Instead, if you choose to provide them with turkey make sure it is boneless, skinless turkey meat in moderation. Make sure it’s plain, without any seasonings or sauces.
- Onions and Garlic
Onions and garlic, which are common ingredients in many Thanksgiving recipes, are toxic to dogs. They can cause damage to a dog’s red blood cells and lead to anemia. Avoid giving them any dishes containing these ingredients, such as stuffing or gravy.
- Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins can be extremely toxic to dogs, leading to kidney failure. Ensure that they stay away from any fruit salad or dishes that contain these ingredients.
Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs and can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases, seizures. Keep chocolate desserts like brownies away from your dog.
Gravy is often high in salt and can contain ingredients like onions and garlic, which are toxic to dogs. The high salt content can lead to excessive thirst and urination, potentially causing sodium ion poisoning.
Alcoholic beverages, such as wine, beer, and cocktails, are extremely hazardous for dogs. Even small amounts of alcohol can lead to alcohol poisoning, causing symptoms like disorientation, vomiting, and even potentially life-threatening conditions. Ensure that your dog has no access to alcoholic drinks during your Thanksgiving celebration.
Nuts, especially macadamia nuts, can be harmful to dogs. They can cause muscle tremors, weakness, vomiting, and even hyperthermia. Keep nut dishes out of your dog’s reach.
Nutmeg, a common spice used in Thanksgiving dishes like pumpkin pie, can be harmful to dogs in large amounts. It can cause central nervous system problems, including seizures and hallucinations. It’s best to keep nutmeg-spiced foods away from your dog.
- Corn on the Cob
While corn itself isn’t toxic to dogs, the cob can pose a serious risk. Dogs may chew on the cob, leading to choking or intestinal blockages. Avoid sharing corn on the cob and make sure your dog doesn’t have access to the trash after cobs are disposed of.
- Yeast Dough
Uncooked yeast dough can expand and ferment in a dog’s stomach, causing gas and discomfort. It can also lead to alcohol poisoning as yeast ferments. Keep unbaked bread or roll dough away from your dog, and ensure it’s securely stored.
Safe Thanksgiving Foods for Your Dog
- Plain Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes, when cooked plain and without any added sugar or spices, are a nutritious and dog-friendly option. They are rich in vitamins and fiber.
- Plain Green Beans
Green beans, without any seasonings, butter, or sauces, can be a healthy and low-calorie snack for your dog. They are rich in fiber and vitamins.
- Plain Pumpkin
Plain, canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) can be beneficial for your dog’s digestion. It’s high in fiber and can help with digestive issues.
Carrots are a nutritious and low-calorie option for your dog. Just be sure they are plain and not cooked in any butter or seasonings. Your furry friend can benefit from the added vitamins and fiber that carrots provide.
Apples are a safe and healthy treat for your dog. They’re a good source of vitamins and fiber and can be given in small, bite-sized pieces, free from seeds and cores, which can be harmful.
Celery is a low-calorie and nutritious option for dogs. It’s high in fiber and can help promote dental health by aiding in chewing. Offer small, plain pieces without any seasonings or peanut butter.
- Cooked White Potatoes
Plain, cooked white potatoes without added butter, cream, or seasonings are safe for dogs. They are a good source of carbohydrates and provide vitamins and minerals.
Plain peas, without any seasonings or sauces, can be a nutritious and dog-friendly addition to your dog’s meal. They offer fiber and essential nutrients.
Cooked squash, such as plain pumpkin or butternut squash, is a healthy and safe option for dogs. It’s rich in vitamins and fiber.
Cranberries in small quantities can be a safe and healthy treat for your dog. Make sure they’re fresh or unsweetened dried cranberries without added sugar.
Thanksgiving can be a joyful time for you and your dog, as long as you’re mindful of what you share with them. While there are many foods to avoid feeding your furry friend, there are still plenty of safe and healthy options you can include in their Thanksgiving meal. Always consult your veterinarian if you have concerns about specific foods or portion sizes for your dog. By being cautious and responsible, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday season for both you and your dog.
Tiffany Ruiz Dasilva, VMD, cVMA
Dr. Tiffany Ruiz Dasilva is the Professional Services Veterinarian here at Wild Earth. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Brown University, and attended veterinary school at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Since graduation, she has worked in general practice, on telehealth platforms, and in animal rehabilitation. She has worked tirelessly to gain expertise in the field of canine nutrition through numerous certifications and coursework, and plans to pursue her Masters in Animal Nutrition.