Thanksgiving Dinner – What You Can and Can’t Feed Your Pets!
12 November, 2015

Thanksgiving is on its way and there is nothing better than being with your family and enjoying the turkey and all the other sides.  We humans can tolerate most of the food that is cooked, but our pets are a different story.  It is important to distinguish which food you can share with your pets and which you should avoid.

The below food is OK for your pets:

Turkey is fine for your pets (no skin)

Turkey can be a wonderful lean protein to share with your cat or dog. Make sure to remove any excess skin or fat, stick with white meat, and look out for bones.  But, don’t feed your cat or dog raw or undercooked turkey.  A little Petchup on your turkey is fine!

Pumpkin is good your dogs and cats and great for digestion

Pumpkin is good for dogs and cats to eat not only because it’s low in calories and bursting with vitamins, carotene and fiber, but also because it helps with digestion. If your dog or cat is suffering from an upset stomach, diarrhea or constipation, a little bit of pumpkin can help (maybe after the thanksgiving treats)!

Sweet potatoes

If you want to give your dog or cat a little sweet potato, make sure it is just cooked and plain.  If you are making a dish and adding brown sugar or sweeteners, it will be hard for your pets to digest.  Just give your dog or cat a little treat before preparing your dish and similar to pumpkin, it’s very easy to digest.


Nothing wrong with some raw carrots and broccoli for your pets.  Just make sure they are chopped properly.  A great way to get some vitamins.

Try to keep the below food away from your pets:

Dough and cake batter

While most of us wouldn’t choose to give our pets’ raw dough, your dogs or cats might get into it while you are cooking.  It is very hard for your pets to digest raw dough/ batter and can sit in their stomach for days. Try to be mindful of your pets if you are making homemade pies that they are out of the kitchen.

Nuts are very dangerous

Walnuts and nuts are very dangerous for your dogs.  They can cause ‘macadamia nut toxicosis’ if ingested.  Within twelve hours of eating them, your dog can go into shock and have tremors. They will usually go away, but don’t ever let your dog eat either of these nuts.


Mushrooms are very dangerous for your pets. If your dog or cat ingest mushrooms, you can expect a slew of side effects that could become quite severe, including vomiting, seizures, coma and possibly death. 

Onions and garlic

Onions and garlic are always on the list of foods your dog should not eat, and for very good reason: they can make your dog very sick. Both onions and garlic contain sulfides, which are toxic to dogs and can cause the destruction of red blood cells, leading to anemia.  This is the same for cats. Garlic does not digest well.

Sage and Nutmeg

Sage contains oils and resins that can upset a dog’s stomach and eventually his central nervous system.  When cooking with sage, make sure your dog and/or cat are not in the kitchen. Cats are especially sensitive to the effects of certain essential oils.

Nutmeg has mild hallucinogenic properties that, when ingested, can cause seizures, tremors and central nervous system problems.  Both pumpkin and sweet potatoes are good for your dog and cats, but only without nutmeg.


As most dog owners know, chocolate is also very, very bad for dogs. Never feed your dog chocolate on Thanksgiving or any other occasion.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving with your pets.  And, even if you give your pets a sampling from the “good” food list, the plainer, the better!





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