5 Thanksgiving Foods Dangerous for Your Pet

Thanksgiving is a time for coming together with loved ones and indulging in a delicious feast. While it’s a joyous occasion for us, it can pose significant risks to our furry companions. Here at Mille Lacs Veterinary Group, your pet’s health and safety are always our highest priorities. In this article, we’ll look into the potential dangers that Thanksgiving foods can pose to your pets, providing essential information for pet owners. If you have any concerns or need further guidance, please don’t hesitate to contact us for expert advice and care.

Note: While we’re happy to share these general tips, they’re not a substitute for professional veterinary care. If you have any concerns about your pet’s health, please call us and make an appointment.

thanksgiving foods dangerous for your pet in minnesota

High-Risk Thanksgiving Foods for Dogs and Cats

When it comes to Thanksgiving, a variety of tempting dishes can spell trouble for your pets. Let’s take a closer look at each of these high-risk Thanksgiving foods and explore the aspects that make them dangerous:

1. Turkey Bones

Turkey bones, particularly the smaller ones, can be problematic for pets. These bones are brittle and prone to splintering when chewed or swallowed. When ingested, these sharp bone fragments can cause serious internal injuries. They may puncture the digestive tract or lead to painful obstructions, requiring immediate veterinary attention.

Additionally, bones can be choking hazards, and they can even cause damage to the teeth if chewed. We understand how tempting it is to give a dog a bone, but the risks tend to outweigh the benefits!

2. Gravy

While gravy might seem harmless, it can be problematic for pets due to its high fat content and various seasonings. The richness of gravy can lead to an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea in pets. Moreover, the seasonings and spices often used in gravy can be difficult for pets to digest, potentially causing gastrointestinal distress. In severe cases, excessive fat consumption can lead to pancreatitis, a painful and life-threatening condition.

Also, gravy can contain onions and garlic, which are highly toxic to pets. See below for important information about these hazardous ingredients!

3. Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic are commonly used as flavor enhancers in many Thanksgiving dishes, including gravies and side dishes. These ingredients contain compounds that can lead to oxidative damage to a pet’s red blood cells, resulting in hemolytic anemia. Symptoms can range from weakness and lethargy to more severe issues like vomiting, diarrhea, and organ damage. It’s important to be cautious about even small amounts of onion and garlic in your pet’s diet.

4. Stuffing

Stuffing is a popular side dish during Thanksgiving, but it can pose a significant risk to your pets. Many stuffing recipes contain ingredients like onions, garlic, and raisins, which are toxic to both dogs and cats. Onions and garlic can lead to a condition called hemolytic anemia in pets, where their red blood cells are destroyed, resulting in weakness, vomiting, and even organ damage. Raisins, on the other hand, can cause kidney failure in some animals. Even without these toxic ingredients, the high-fat content in stuffing can still upset your pet’s stomach.

5. Desserts

Thanksgiving desserts, such as pies and cakes, are undeniably sweet and delicious. However, they contain ingredients that are harmful to pets. Chocolate is one of the most well-known toxins for dogs, containing substances called theobromine and caffeine, which can lead to symptoms like rapid breathing, increased heart rate, seizures, and, in severe cases, death. Additionally, some desserts may use artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which can cause a rapid release of insulin in dogs, leading to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and potentially fatal consequences.

Protecting Your Pets

Now that we’ve highlighted the Thanksgiving food hazards, it’s necessary to take proactive steps to protect your pets during the Thanksgiving festivities.

Here’s what you can do:

1. Secure the Feast

Keep all Thanksgiving dishes and leftovers safely stored away from your pets. Make sure trash bags are inaccessible to prevent them from digging in.

2. Educate Your Guests

Inform your guests about the hazards of feeding your pets from the table. Kindly ask them to refrain from sharing their meal with your furry companions.

3. Choose Pet-Friendly Thanksgiving Treats

If you’d like your pet to share in the festivities, consider preparing pet-friendly treats in advance. Plain, unseasoned turkey meat or a small portion of plain, cooked sweet potatoes can be safe, healthy options.

What to Do If Your Pet Ingested a High-Risk Food

Despite your best efforts, accidents can happen. If you suspect that your pet has ingested something they shouldn’t have, be sure to act promptly by contacting your nearest Mille Lacs clinic. Our experienced veterinary team can give you the guidance you need to get timely medical care for your pet if necessary. Don’t wait for your pet’s symptoms to worsen; call us or reach out to the nearest emergency clinic for instructions. Note that some food toxicities may take a bit of time to cause outward symptoms.

Also,  please refrain from attempting home remedies or treatments found online, as they can sometimes do more harm than good!

While Thanksgiving is a time for celebration, it’s essential to remain vigilant and prioritize your pet’s safety. By understanding the potential risks associated with certain foods and taking precautions, you can ensure a happy and healthy holiday season for both you and your beloved pets. If you have any concerns or need further guidance, please reach out to Mille Lacs Veterinary Group for expert care and advice!