These 12 Thanksgiving Foods Are Actually Toxic to Cats and Dogs

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The holiday season is upon us which means we’re going to be cooking and indulging in festive food. It all kicks off with our Thanksgiving feast, and even though we’re not going to be celebrating with extended family this year due to the pandemic, we still plan to make the usual turkey day favorites.

If you have pets, you might be tempted to let them share your food so they can enjoy the holidays too, but be warned: many foods that are safe for people are toxic for cats and dogs. Even though we often treat our furry friends like they’re our children or best friends, they are not humans, and their digestive systems can’t always handle the same things.

In order to avoid accidentally poisoning your cat or dog this season (because 2020 has been a year and we definitely don’t need more drama), we have put together a helpful list of foods that you should never feed your pet. Scroll down to learn what to avoid.

  1. Yeast Dough

    If you’re baking fresh bread or dinner rolls for Thanksgiving, and if that bread contains yeast, be sure your pet doesn’t sneak a taste of the dough before it’s baked. As the yeast ferments the dough making it rise, the yeast makes alcohol, and if your pet eats they dough it could cause alcohol poisoning. Also, since yeast makes dough rise, if your pet eats it, the dough will expand in his or her little stomach. This can be very painful.

  2. Salty Foods

    A lot of salt can do more than make your pet thirsty. It can also lead to sodium ion poisoning. Never feed your pets salty foods. This includes chips and pretzels.

  3. Anything Containing Raw Eggs

    Eating raw eggs can cause food poisoning. That means you shouldn’t feed your pet (or yourself) food that contains raw eggs. Yes, that includes cookie dough and cake batter.

  4. Peaches, Plums, Persimmon Pits

    These fruits contain seeds or pits that are dangerous for humans and pets. If swallowed, the pit could get stuck in the small intestine. Peach and plum pits also contain cyanide. Nobody should eat them. People know not to eat the pits, but make your pet doesn’t accidentally eat one if you’re making a peach pie, for example.

  5. Chocolate

    It’s common knowledge to many people that pets shouldn’t eat chocolate, but do you know why? All chocolate contains theobromine, but dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate are the most dangerous. When a dog eats chocolate, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, heart problems, seizures, tremors and even death. Keep the chocolate well out of your pet’s reach.

  6. Foods and Beverages Containing Milk and Dairy

    Hot chocolate

    Milk-based foods can cause digestive problems in pets. These foods can also lead to allergies which can make pets itch. Never share your ice-cream or whipped cream with your pet. That makes hot chocolate a double no-no since pets shouldn’t have chocolate or dairy. Obviously, mac and cheese shouldn’t be shared with your pet, and if you put dairy in your mashed potatoes, your pet shouldn’t eat that either. Any pie containing milk (like a pudding or custard pie) is a huge no as well.

  7. Grapes and Raisins

    Don’t let your pet eat anything that contains grapes or raisins. That means any casserole or fruit salad that contains these foods is a big no-no. Even a small amount can make a dog sick and even cause kidney failure.

  8. Anything with Caffeine

    Caffeine can be deadly in pets. Even if you drink it black, don’t let your pet sip your coffee, and definitely not your pumpkin spice latte or peppermint mocha (because dairy and chocolate).

  9. Foods Containing Garlic and Onions

    Most likely this means your pet will need to skip the stuffing, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. Any food containing any form of garlic or onions can cause anemia in pets. Yes, that includes onion powder and garlic powder.

  10. Alcohol

    Spiking the eggnog might be delicious and festive for you, but don’t let your pet take a sip. Wine, beer, and anything containing alcohol can cause many problems in pets including vomiting, diarrhea, breathing problems, coordination problems, coma, and death.

  11. Foods Containing Xylitol

    This is a common ingredient in many types of store bought candy and baked goods. If your pet eats food containing xylitol, it could cause liver failure within just a few days.

  12. Turkey

    Turkey itself isn’t actually toxic to pets, but the seasoning you put on your turkey might be. If you used garlic powder or onion powder to flavor your turkey, for example, your pets shouldn’t taste it.