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Thanksgiving Pet Safety: Which Foods to Share

What are your plans for Thanksgiving? If you’re hosting this food-filled holiday at your house, make sure to keep Thanksgiving pet safety in mind! Many of the delicious foods we enjoy on this day can be dangerous for our furry family members. To help you and your pet both enjoy this holiday safely, our animal hospital in Oakland has compiled a list of safe and unsafe foods for your pet!

Thanksgiving Pet Safety in Oakland: A Dog Sniffing a Raw Chicken on the Kitchen Counter

Safe

  • Beef - As long as it is lean, well-cooked, and unseasoned, beef is safe.
  • Bread - Plain bread, whether white or whole grain, is safe but only in small amounts. No raisin bread, though, since raisins are toxic to cats and dogs!
  • Broccoli - Cooked broccoli is safe in moderation. Raw broccoli is safe, too, but is difficult for cats and dogs to digest, so it is best to only share if it is cooked.
  • Brussels Sprouts - Brussels sprouts are safe when cooked, but pets often are not interested in them!
  • Carrots - Cooked carrots are safe for cats and dogs. Dogs can also eat raw carrots, but cats have a hard time digesting them.
  • Celery - Celery is safe only in small amounts. In cats, too much can cause diarrhea. Celery leaves also affect cats the same way catnip does!
  • Cheese - Cheeses without any additives, such as peppercorns, are safe for pets, but only in small quantities.
  • Chicken - As long as it is cooked, boneless, unseasoned, and skinless.
  • Cinnamon - Cinnamon is okay in very small quantities. However, cinnamon can become toxic at higher levels, so limit your pet’s ingestion of it.
  • Corn - Plain, cooked corn kernels are safe in moderate amounts. Corn on the cob, however, is a choking hazard!
  • Cranberry Sauce - Cranberry sauce itself is safe, but the amount of sugar in it could be detrimental. Limit your pet’s consumption of sugary sauces!
  • Gravy - Plain gravy is safe in small amounts. However, onions and garlic are toxic to pets, so if the gravy contains these ingredients, don’t share it with them!
  • Green Beans - Both cooked and raw are safe, as long as they are unseasoned.
  • Milk - But in very small amounts as cats and dogs are mildly lactose intolerant.
  • Mushrooms - Mushrooms from the store are safe raw or cooked, as long as they are unseasoned. However, wild mushrooms could be very harmful, so keep your pet away from wild varieties!
  • Nutmeg - For cats only, it is safe, but in extremely small amounts.
  • Pork - On occasion, pork is safe, as long as it’s cooked and plain. Ham or bacon, however, is far too high in fat and sodium for our pets.
  • Potatoes - As long as they are cooked (mashed, boiled, baked), unseasoned, and not fried. Mashed potatoes often contain dairy ingredients, so limit your pet’s ingestion of these. Raw potatoes, however, are lethal to cats and toxic to dogs!
  • Rice - Plain and cooked brown or white rice is safe.
  • Salmon - Salmon that is well-cooked, unseasoned, and boneless is safe! However, smoked salmon is often much too salty, so keep salmon prepared this way away from your pets.
  • Shrimp - Shrimp is safe as long as it’s cooked, unseasoned, and removed from the shell.
  • Sweet Potatoes/Candied Yams - But not in excessive amounts due to the butter, sugar, and spices. Plain sweet potatoes are safer.
  • Turkey - Turkey is safe to share as long as it’s well-cooked plain, boneless, and skinless.

Unsafe

  • Chocolate - Never, because chocolate contains two stimulants, theobromine and caffeine, which your pet cannot metabolize effectively. The darker the chocolate, the higher the risk.
  • Garlic - Never. Garlic is highly toxic to cats and dogs alike.
  • Grapes/Raisins - Never. Grapes and raisins both contain toxic compounds that are harmful to dogs and cats.
  • Green Bean Casserole - This casserole is too rich due to its dairy ingredients.
  • Nutmeg - Nutmeg is unsafe for dogs because of the myristicin in it, which could cause disorientation, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, dry mouth, stomach pain, and seizures.
  • Onions - Never. Onions are toxic to cats and dogs — this includes onion powder!
  • 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 and sugary for pets to handle!
  • Pumpkin Pie - Pumpkin pie filling has added ingredients that can be dangerous to pets. However, plain, cooked pumpkin, is completely safe!
  • Stuffing - Stuffing often contains onions, garlic, and/or shallots, all of which are toxic to your cats and dogs.
  • Xylitol - Never. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in many sugar-free baked goods, peanut butters, and candies. It is highly toxic to pets, so keep it away from them!

Interested in more Thanksgiving pet safety tips about food? Contact our animal hospital today for more tips, or ask your veterinarian at your next appointment!

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