Do your Thanksgiving plans include your pet? Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving here in Groveport, or are traveling this holiday, Thanksgiving pet safety should be a part of the plan so they can enjoy a safe and happy holiday. Many of the dangers for pets during this holiday primarily involve the food. Pets are drawn to all the delicious smells, but unfortunately, much of the food is unsafe for them to eat. At Groveport Canal Animal Hospital, Thanksgiving pet safety is incredibly important to us, which is why we’ve put together some safety tips and a list of foods that pets can and can’t enjoy at Thanksgiving!
- Be safe around visitors. Not all pets are comfortable with a house full of people. If your pet is nervous around guests, keep them in their crate or a separate room. You can also ask your veterinarian about calming medications if your pet is overly anxious.
- Watch for escape attempts. With all the comings and goings, pets can easily slip out. Keep an eye on the door and make sure your pet is properly identified with tags on their collar as well as a microchip.
- Keep holiday décor out of paws’ reach. Lit candles, pinecones, toxic plants, and other holiday décor can cause serious damage to your home and your pet! Place them out of reach or always supervise your pet around them.
- Travel safely. If you’re traveling with your pet this holiday, keep in mind they’ll need a health certificate to travel across state lines and international boundaries! For more information, contact us at (614) 836-3222.
Safe & Unsafe Thanksgiving Foods for Pets
Keep in mind that even foods that are safe for pets should only be shared in moderation. Too much fatty meat can cause pancreatitis, a dangerous condition; too much salt can cause salt poisoning; and too much human food, in general, can cause weight gain! Depending on your pet’s size, the amount they can safely eat will vary. Keeping human foods to less than 10% of total daily caloric requirement would likely be a safe bet.
- Beef – Beef needs to be lean, well-cooked, and unseasoned in order to share it safely with your pets.
- Bread – Plain bread, whether white or whole grain, is safe for pets in small amounts.
- Broccoli – Unseasoned, cooked broccoli is safe in moderation. Raw broccoli, however, is difficult for dogs and cats to digest.
- Brussels Sprouts – Brussels sprouts are safe when cooked and unseasoned.
- Carrots – Carrots are safe when cooked and plain, but only dogs can enjoy raw carrots — cats have a hard time digesting them.
- Celery – Celery is safe in small amounts, as too much can cause diarrhea. Additionally, celery leaves affect cats the same way that catnip does!
- Cheese – Most cheeses are safe for pets, but only in small quantities.
- Chicken – Chicken is safe as long as it is well-cooked, skinless, boneless, and unseasoned.
- Cinnamon – It’s non-toxic in very small quantities. However, at certain levels, cinnamon can become toxic.
- Corn – Cooked corn kernels are safe in moderation, but corn on the cob is a choking hazard.
- Cranberry Sauce – Cranberry sauce is generally safe, but some recipes contain a high amount of sugar, so limit your pet’s intake.
- Gravy – Gravy is safe, but only small amounts because it is very fatty. Also, be sure that it doesn’t contain toxic ingredients like onions and garlic!
- Green Beans – Green beans are safe both raw and cooked (and always unseasoned!).
- Milk – Milk is safe in small amounts, but many pets are lactose intolerant, so keep an eye on your pet’s reaction to milk and if they have any diarrhea or vomiting, discontinue sharing it!
- Mushrooms – Mushrooms from the store are safe as long as they are unseasoned. However, wild mushrooms could be very harmful. If your pet is outdoors often on their own, it may be best to avoid sharing mushrooms at all — if they get used to eating them at home, they may chomp on them in the wild!
- Nutmeg – for cats, but in extremely small amounts
- Pork – Pork is safe on occasion, as long as it’s cooked, boneless, and unseasoned.
- Potatoes – As long as they are cooked, unseasoned, and not fried. Mashed with a bit of milk and butter is okay! Raw potatoes, however, are lethal to cats and toxic to dogs!
- Rice – Cooked brown or white rice is safe if it is unseasoned.
- Shrimp – As long as it’s cooked, unseasoned, and removed from the shell
- Sweet Potatoes/Candied Yams – Safe, but not in excessive amounts due to the sugar and butter. Also, make sure they don’t contain dangerous spices like nutmeg. Plain, cooked sweet potatoes and yams are safer.
- Turkey – as long as it’s unseasoned, lean, boneless, and skinless
- Cheesecake – Cheesecake is far too sugary and high in calories for dogs and cats. Eating cheesecake can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even pancreatitis if a large amount is ingested.
- Chocolate – Never. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, two stimulants that your pet cannot metabolize effectively. The darker the chocolate, the higher the risk.
- Garlic – Never. Garlic is highly toxic to both cats and dogs.
- Grapes/Raisins – Never. There are toxic compounds in both that are harmful to cats and dogs.
- Green Bean Casserole – This casserole (and most casseroles!) contain other ingredients that are too rich for our pets to enjoy like lots of cream, cheese, and butter.
- Ham – Ham is very high in sodium and fats, which makes it dangerous for pets to consume. The same thing goes for bacon!
- Nutmeg – It’s not safe for dogs, because it contains myristicin which could cause symptoms such as disorientation, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, stomach pain, and even seizures.
- Onions – Never. Onions are toxic to cats and dogs — this includes onion powder, dehydrated onions, and all other types!
- Pecan Pie – Pecans contain fats and oils which can upset your pet’s stomach. Furthermore, the buttery crust and sweet syrupy filling are too rich for pets to handle.
- Pumpkin Pie – Pumpkin pie filling has added ingredients such as sugars, spices, and condensed milk that can be dangerous to pets. However, plain, cooked pumpkin, is completely safe!
- Stuffing – Stuffing often contains ingredients that are toxic to pets, including onions, garlic, and/or shallots.
- Xylitol – Never. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in many sugar-free baked goods, peanut butters, and candies. It is highly toxic to pets.
Have any other foods you’re wondering about? Contact our animal hospital at (614) 836-3222. We hope our Thanksgiving pet safety food guide and safety tips help you and your pet enjoy a happy, healthy Thanksgiving!