Who doesn’t love Thanksgiving? Stuffing yourself full with amazing food, getting together with family/friends, and reflecting on everything you’re thankful for. If you have a pet, I’d venture a guess that your pet is one of the things you’re most thankful for. Which is why it’s important to ensure their safety while celebrating the holiday. Keep the below in mind this Thanksgiving to keep your pets safe, healthy and happy!


Fatty Foods such as turkey skin, butter, meat scraps and gravy can cause pancreatitis in your pet. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that can result in vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and loss of appetite. In severe cases, pancreatitis can be fatal.

Bones, from a turkey for example, can cause intestinal upset and gastrointestinal injury. The bones can splinter once digested, leading to intestinal blockage or infection. This may require surgical repair or removal, and can be life-threatening.

*If you’d like to feed your pet a small piece or two of turkey, make sure it’s boneless and well-cooked.

Bread Dough can be incredibly dangerous for your pet. When a dog or cat eats raw bread dough, the yeast continues to convert the sugars in the dough to carbon dioxide alcohol and gas. A bloated pet is bad in itself, but this can result in a bloated drunken pet, which could become an extremely life-threatening emergency.

Raisins and grapes, often found in popular holiday desserts, such as fruit & nut cake, can be a very serious concern for pets, as ingestion can result in kidney failure. Nuts aren’t good for your pet either as they are very high in fat. Macadamia nuts are the worst, but those likely won’t be at your Thanksgiving table.

Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in your pet. Additionally, theobromine can be toxic to the heart and nervous system, causing muscle tremors, heart problems, and seizures. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous.

Alcohol ingestion is very dangerous to your pet, and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lack of coordination, tremors, difficulty breathing, and potentially coma and even death.


Some pets are excitable or shy around new people or in crowds. Thanksgiving can bring many visitors at once and higher-than-normal noise levels. If you know your pet is nervous when people come over, put them in another room or a crate with their favorite toy. This will reduce your pet’s emotional stress and protect your guests from potential injury.

Keep an eye on your pet when people are entering or leaving your home. While you’re greeting guests and collecting coats, your pet might make a break for it out the door. This is why tags and updated microchips are extremely important.

Make sure all guests are aware of your pet(s) beforehand so they can take extra precautions to protect themselves if they have a compromised immune system (due to pregnancy, disease, or medications and treatments that suppress the immune system).

Remind guests not to feed your pet table scraps.

Put the trash in a bin with a closed lid where your pet can’t get to it. A turkey carcass left in an easily accessible open trash container could be very dangerous due to the bones and fat. Make sure you dispose of food packaging as soon as possible. Strings, bags and plastic holders that have a meat smell to them can attract your pet. Ingestion of these items can cause damage or blockage of the intestines.

We wish you and your pet(s) a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!