Thanksgiving Food No-No’s for Dogs: Keep Your Canine Safe!

Thanksgiving Food No-No’s for Dogs: Keep Your Canine Safe!

Thanksgiving is a time for feasting, family, and fun, but it’s also a time when many pet owners unknowingly put their dogs at risk of serious health issues. As a knowledgeable professional veterinarian, I want to ensure that your furry friend is safe this holiday season by discussing the Thanksgiving food no-no’s for dogs.

Thanksgiving Food No-No's for Dogs: Keep Your Canine Safe!

Turkey Bones: A Big No-No for Dogs

The first Thanksgiving food item to avoid giving to your dog is turkey bones. Turkey bones are brittle and can easily splinter, causing intestinal blockages or even perforations. They can also get stuck in the throat, causing choking hazards.

Instead of giving your dog turkey bones, opt for cooked, boneless turkey meat. It’s a safer and healthier option for your pet.

Fatty Foods: A Recipe for Pancreatitis

Fatty foods like gravy and stuffing can be a recipe for disaster for your dog. These types of foods can trigger pancreatitis, a condition where the pancreas becomes inflamed and swollen. Symptoms of pancreatitis include vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

To avoid pancreatitis, stick to a normal diet for your dog or give them a small amount of cooked, lean turkey meat as a treat.

Onions and Garlic: Toxic to Dogs

Onions and garlic are commonly used in Thanksgiving recipes, but they are toxic to dogs. Both foods contain compounds that can damage a dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. Symptoms of onion and garlic poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.

To keep your dog safe, avoid giving them any food that contains onions or garlic. This includes dishes like stuffing, casseroles, and gravies.

Chocolate: A Big No-No for Dogs

Many people indulge in chocolate during the holidays, but it’s important to remember that it’s a big no-no for dogs. Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound that is toxic to dogs. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include diarrhea, vomiting, and seizures.

To keep your dog safe, make sure to keep all chocolate out of reach. If your dog does ingest chocolate, seek veterinary care immediately.

Grapes and Raisins: Toxic to Dogs

Grapes and raisins are a staple in many holiday recipes, but they are toxic to dogs. These foods can cause kidney failure, which can lead to death. Symptoms of grape and raisin poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.

If your dog ingests grapes or raisins, seek immediate veterinary care. It’s important to keep these foods out of reach of your pets.

Nuts: A Choking Hazard

Nuts are a choking hazard for dogs, especially smaller breeds. They can also cause digestive issues and even pancreatitis. If you want to give your dog a treat, opt for something like a carrot or a piece of cooked, lean turkey meat.


In conclusion, Thanksgiving is a time for celebration, but it’s important to keep your dog safe by avoiding dangerous foods. Turkey bones, fatty foods, onions and garlic, chocolate, grapes and raisins, and nuts are all items to avoid giving your dog. By following these tips, you can ensure that your furry friend stays healthy and happy this holiday season.


Q: Can dogs eat turkey bones?
A: No, dogs should never be given turkey bones. They are small and brittle, and can easily splinter and cause choking, blockages, or puncturing of the digestive system.

Q: Is it okay to give my dog some turkey meat?
A: Plain, cooked turkey meat can be safe for dogs in moderation, but it should be free of any seasonings or sauces that can be harmful. Also, it’s important to avoid any fatty parts, as they can cause pancreatitis in dogs.

Q: Can dogs eat sweet potatoes or pumpkin pie?
A: While sweet potatoes and pumpkin can be healthy for dogs, they should not be given in pie form or with added sugar and spices. Dogs also cannot have any pie crust or other baked goods, as they often contain ingredients like butter or chocolate that are toxic to dogs. It’s best to stick with plain, cooked vegetables as a treat.

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