Thanksgiving Pet Safety

Thanksgiving is a season of generosity and sharing delicious food with our family and friends. Yet, for pets, we need to be selective in what we share because the foods we love could be toxic to them! At our Carmel animal hospital, Thanksgiving pet safety is very important to us, so we created a list of common Thanksgiving foods that are safe and unsafe for pets.

Foods to Share with Your Best Friend

The foods in this list are safe to share with your pet in moderation. Make sure that any human food does not exceed 10% of your pet’s daily diet, otherwise, it could contribute to weight gain. Additionally, make sure all items are well-cooked, unseasoned and don’t contain any harmful ingredients. Meats should all be lean pieces that are skinless, boneless, and unseasoned. If you have any questions about the foods below, talk to your veterinarian or contact our animal hospital!

  • Beef
  • Bread (plain white and wheat)
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots – dogs can enjoy carrots raw as well as cooked
  • Celery
  • Cheese
  • Chicken
  • Cinnamon – cinnamon is only safe in very small amounts; any more could be toxic
  • Corn – kernels only, no corn on the cob because it’s a choking hazard
  • Cranberry sauce – be aware of the sugar content and control your pet’s portion accordingly
  • Gravy – only safe in very small amounts; check the ingredients to ensure there are no toxic ingredients such as garlic and onions
  • Green beans – safe both cooked and raw
  • Milk – many pets are lactose intolerant, so only share a very small amount
  • Mushrooms – store-bought varieties are safe, but it may be best not to share any because pets may mistake wild mushrooms as safe, too
  • Nutmeg – only safe for cats in very small amounts; nutmeg is unsafe for dogs
  • Pork – no ham or bacon
  • Potatoes – must be fully cooked, but not fried; raw potatoes are lethal to cats and toxic to dogs
  • Pumpkin – cooked and plain pumpkin is safe, but pumpkin pie filling is not
  • Rice (white or brown)
  • Sweet potatoes/candied yams – make sure they don’t contain too much sugar or butter and be wary of the spices in them; plain, cooked sweet potatoes and yams are safer
  • Turkey
Thanksgiving Pet Safety in Carmel: A Dog Sitting on a Porch Holding Broccoli

Foods to Keep on Your Plate

These foods are all dangerous to our pets and some can even cause symptoms that are life-threatening. Don’t share any with your pet, but if they do get a hold of one of the items on this list, contact an emergency veterinarian immediately or the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661.

  • Chocolate – Chocolate is a well-known toxin for dogs and cats, but do you know why? It contains two stimulants that pets cannot effectively metabolize, theobromine and caffeine. The darker the chocolate, the greater the risk to your pet.
  • Corn pudding – Corn pudding is too rich for our pets to handle — it’ll likely cause stomach upset and vomiting/diarrhea if small amounts are eaten and more serious problems in greater quantities.
  • Garlic – We all know that just one glove of garlic packs a ton of flavor, but for our pets, one clove packs a ton of toxins.
  • Grapes/raisins – The exact compounds that are toxic are not fully understood, but toxic they are nonetheless for both cats and dogs.
  • Green bean casserole – This casserole (and most casseroles!) is too rich, similar to corn pudding, and could cause serious gastrointestinal distress.
  • Ham – Ham is too salty and fatty for our pets to metabolize, and the same goes for bacon!
  • Nutmeg – Nutmeg is safe for cats in very small amounts, but it is completely unsafe for dogs, due to the myristicin in it.
  • Onions – Onions in all their forms, fresh, dried, powdered, etc., are highly toxic to our pets.
  • Pecan pie – This sweet and salty pie is too oily due to the nuts and too sugary due to the filling for our pets to enjoy safely.
  • Pumpkin pie – Pumpkin pie filling has too much sugar, as well as other ingredients like condensed milk and spices, that are difficult for pets to digest.
  • Stuffing – Stuffing usually contains harmful ingredients like garlic and onions, so it’s best to keep it to ourselves.
  • Xylitol – Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is highly toxic to our pets. It is found in sugar-free baked goods, sugar-free candy, as well as some peanut butters.

Have any questions about our Thanksgiving pet safety food list? Contact our animal hospital at (317) 900-7723 or ask at your next visit!