Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays where we get a chance to all come together and indulge in an amazing selection of foods ranging from sweet potatoes, cranberries, turkey, stuffing, and let’s not forget the pumpkin pie! While we spend this day enjoying all the wonderful food prepared by family, underneath the dining table are some four-legged beggars who want a piece of the fine cuisine. There are a fair amount of ingredients that can be harmful if not toxic to your animal. We will break a few things down dish by dish of what to avoid feeding your dog at the dinner table. 

Turkey. While there is nothing toxic in a turkey, the skins of a turkey can of course be fatty and trigger pancreatitis in your pet. The carcass of the turkey can also be harmful if you pet swallows the bones. This can easily lead to a foreign body obstruction or cause a perforation of the intestines if a jagged piece of bone is ingested. 

Stuffing: The best part of dinner! The stuffing of the turkey is commonly made with onions and garlic which contains a toxin that damages red blood cells in dogs. This can lead to hemolytic anemias which will cause pale gums, red-colored urine, and lethargy. 

Dinner rolls: While baked dinner rolls will cause no harm to your pet, the dough prior to being made can create problems of bloat or gas retention in your animals’ abdomen if consumed. Dog’s will commonly show signs of discomfort, lethargy, and abdominal pain. 

Desserts: On top desserts, like french silk pies, that contain the notorious toxin chocolate, sometimes people will make their desserts with artificial sweeteners (like xylitol) that should be avoided in causes life threatening hypoglycemia in dogs. 

It’s always good to contact your veterinarian if you suspect your pet has ingested something harmful or toxic. There is nothing wrong with spoiling them on a day where we should be thankful for many things like our health and the clothes on our back, but just be mindful of what you are feeding them. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 

Dr. Edward G. Brauer III