Thanksgiving table scraps could be dangerous to your pet’s health, veterinarian says

From wide eyes and wagging tails to tiny whimpers on their hind legs, it can be hard to resist a begging pet’s pleads for a tast of your Thanksgiving feast. 

But many of your holiday favorites contain ingredients that are harmful to your furry friends’ health, according to Dr. Hyunmin Kim, the veterinary staff manager at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty and Animals.

Here’s a look at a few dishes you should avoid feeding your pet. 

Turkey: While a huge turkey bone may seem like a delicious treat for your pup, it can lead to choking and cause damage to your pet’s GI tract. 

“Be sure to be mindful of the ingredients such as onion and garlic and spices that may sneak into your dishes, too,” Kim warned.

Ham: Pork products can cause pancreatitis, upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea. Additionally, pork is high in fat and sodium, which can lead to obesity, dehydration and even sodium ion poisoning.


A pug dog stares at visitors eating cake at a pop-up Pug Cafe in London. (DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Prime rib: No one likes dry and overcooked beef. However, undercooked meats contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli, which can be dangerous to domestic pets. Leave the raw meats for canines in the wild. 

Stuffing: Most stuffing recipes call for items that can be toxic to dogs and cats, like garlic and onions. But there’s another common ingredient that often gets overlooked — sage.

“While sage can be a delicious addition to your Thanksgiving stuffing, it (and many other herbs) contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression in pets,” Kim advised.

Candied yams/sweet potato casserole: If raisins are involved in your recipe — that’s a huge no for your pet. There’s a toxic substance in grapes and raisins that has been linked to kidney failure in dogs.

Dinner rolls: Plain bread is generally safe to give your pets occasionally, however raw yeast dough can ruin their entire holiday. The sugars in the dough turn to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol, which can result in bloated drunken pets. 
Pecan pie: Most nuts are high in fat and can cause vomiting, diarrhea and even pancreatitis in pets. 

Chocolate: This one is a no-brainer, but in case you forgot, never feed your pets chocolate (yes, that goes for dark chocolate too.) Substances within chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, seizures, tremors and even death. 

While most menu items are off limits for pets, there are a few items they can safely indulge in. But, moderation is key, Kim advises.

“A few small boneless pieces of cooked unseasoned turkey, a taste of mashed potato or even a lick of pumpkin pie shouldn’t pose a problem,” Kim said. 

Nonetheless, it’s best for your pets to stick to their regular diets during the holidays.