America’s most indulgent holiday is upon us. From savory turkey to seasonal desserts, there’s a flavor for everyone on Thanksgiving, including our pets. Although our four-legged friends may get excited about the tempting smells, most of the food we eat isn’t meant for animal consumption.
To avoid intestinal upset or neurological damage, here is a list of human foods that your lucky dog should avoid this Thanksgiving:
- Turkey skin – Marinades, spices, herbs, salt and butter in the cooked turkey skin may not settle with your dog’s tummy. If you’d like to indulge your dog in some holiday turkey, make sure it’s void of any extra flavors that may cause intestinal upset. Raw or undercooked turkey meat should not be served to your pet. Boiled or simple roasted turkey meat is ideal.
- Cooked bones – Cooked bones of any kind are not safe for dogs. They may splinter in the dog’s digestive tract. Dispose of them carefully so they remain out of your pet’s reach.
- Onions & garlic – Sulfides in these two ingredients may lead to anemia in dogs. Cooking them does not reduce their toxicity.
- Nuts – Walnuts and macadamia nuts are high in fat and laced with neurological damaging toxins that may affect your dog up to 12 hours after ingestion.
- Chocolate – Dogs cannot break down some of the toxins in chocolate as well as we can. Symptoms of chocolate toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures. In general, the darker the chocolate, the greater the danger. It’s best to keep chocolate away from your pup.
- Mashed potatoes – Milk, butter, salt and any added garlic or onion is off limits for your pet. Simple boiled mashed potatoes and other boiled or steamed vegetables are a safer alternative.
- Cranberry sauce – Cranberries are great for your dog’s urinary tract health, but the added sugar in cranberry sauce will only lead to stomach and intestinal upset.
- Gravy and stuffing – Mushrooms, onions, sage, leeks, chives, garlic, scallions, pepper, raisins and large amounts of fat can be extremely toxic for dogs. Although your dog may be lured by the smell, avoid feeding your dog these popular holiday trimmings.
- Sugar – Dessert should be off limits for your dog. Although pies, casseroles, yams and ice cream may be delicious for us, the added sugars and dairy won’t settle well with your pup. Keep dog treats handy for your pet to indulge in instead.
Although friends and family may be tempted to cave to your dog’s puppy eyes, make sure they know of your dog’s dietary restrictions.
For animal poison-related emergencies, contact the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!