Do not share Thanksgiving scraps with your pets, experts say

Thanksgiving meal

Thanksgiving is a holiday people look forward to, and while the day is flush with food, the food should just be for humans and not for pets. Don’t feed your dog or cat from the festive table, experts warn.

Thanksgiving preparation and gathering at the table will often find your cat and dog underfoot, seeking morsels of delicious food that may fall while you prep or hoping for a handout while folks are feasting around the table.

Experts caution – do not give in to the woeful eyes of your four-legged friend. Do not feed your cat or dog from the Thanksgiving feast.

So much of the bountiful goodies are awash in seasonings or ingredients your dog or cat can not digest properly.

In order to avoid making an emergency run to your vet after the meal is over, it is best to avoid these items:

  • Turkey

Plain turkey is fine, but if the main dish has been seasoned, do not feed it to your furball. The seasonings, butter, onion or garlic used to cook the bird are toxic to both dogs and cats. Additionally, the bones can lead to choking as slivers chewed off can damage a pet’s GI tract, according to Dr. Hyunmin Kim, the veterinary staff manager at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty and Animals.

  • Stuffing

While humans love stuffing, again, the seasonings, butter, and most especially onions are harmful to a dog or cats digestive system.

"No matter what form they’re in (dry, raw, cooked, powder, or within other foods), onions are some of the absolute worst foods you could possibly give your dog and it’s even worse for cats," Sadie Cornelius, Marketing Director for Canine Journal told Reader’s Digest.

  • Pumpkin pie

Plain, canned pumpkin is fine, but do not let your cat or dog partake in the traditional dessert. The sweets involved in the traditional dessert can cause harm to your pet’s system, People reports.

  • Sweet potatoes

Experts say that, much like pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes prepared with marshmallows, raisins or spice cause havoc in a dog or cat’s digestive system. Sweet potatoes prepared plain or fine for your dog or cat to ingest, according to the ASPCA.

  • Ham

Pork or pork products can cause pancreatitis, vomiting and diarrhea. Pork products are also high in fat and sodium causing your pet to be dehydrated, or worse, can lead to sodium ion poisoning.

  • Dinner rolls

The sugar involved in dinner rolls can cause bloating in your pets.

  • Pecan pie

Most nuts are harmful to dogs and cats. They are high in fat and can cause pancreatitis, vomiting and diarrhea.

  • Chocolate

Ingredients in chocolate will cause diarrhea, excessive thirst, vomiting, seizures, tremors and death. Never feed your pets chocolate.


As with all things, moderation is key, Dr. Kim cautions. Boneless turkey cooked plain, a bit of plain sweet potatoes or plain, mashed potatoes, or plain green beans should not cause issues for your four-legged companion. In the long run, it may be best to stick to their regular diet, in order for a smooth and happy holiday.



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