Cute dog caught eating pie.

Turkey, with all the trimmings, is a Thanksgiving tradition, but is it OK to pass the holiday bird to your cat or dog? Pets and people foods don’t always mix, so follow these tips from our team at Bayside Animal Hospital before caving in to your pet’s hungry eyes and sharing any Turkey Day table scraps.

Pet Safety Tips for Thanksgiving

It’s natural to want to include your furry family members in holiday celebrations, but not all foods and festivities are a good fit for pets. Read on for important pet safety tips for Thanksgiving. 

Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets

While some foods are perfectly pet safe, there are Thanksgiving Day foods to avoid that contain ingredients that are harmful to pets.

Do not allow your pets to eat (or drink) any of the following:

  • Greasy, fatty foods, including turkey skin or butter
  • Meat that contains bones
  • Raw yeast bread dough
  • Alcohol
  • Garlic and onions
  • Raisins and grapes
  • Foods containing the artificial sweetener xylitol, which is extremely toxic to pets
  • Chocolate
  • Sweet treats like pies, cookies, and other desserts

Other Precautions

Besides foods to avoid, there are other precautions that should be taken during any holiday celebration.

  • Watch the exits: An opportunistic pet can make a break for it when guests are coming and going. Watch pets closely, and keep identification tags and microchips up to date.
  • Give nervous pets a place to feel safe. Some pets prefer a quiet room away from holiday hubbub with food, water, and a favorite toy or blanket.
  • Discard table scraps promptly, and keep lids on trash cans.
  • Be mindful of toxic plants. Holiday hostess gifts often come in the form of festive plants, but some of these are toxic to dogs and cats.

Straight Talk About Turkey

So what about turkey and your dog or turkey and your cat? When it comes to the main course, your cats and dogs can safely partake of a few tasty morsels with the following precautions:

  • Make sure the turkey is cooked thoroughly.
  • Offer small, boneless bites only.
  • Remove the skin so your pet ingests less fat and seasoning.
  • Go with white meat to reduce fat content.
  • If your turkey is heavily dressed or stuffed with onions and garlic, it’s best to avoid sharing it with your pets.

Turn your pet’s serving of turkey into a holiday meal with some steamed veggies (try carrots and green beans), a dollop of pumpkin puree, and seasonal fruits minus the whipped cream!

Always consult with your veterinarian before sharing any people foods with your pets. Feel free to contact us at (916) 791-8387 for more pet safety tips for Thanksgiving or to schedule a checkup for your pet.