Thanksgiving is a special holiday that brings family and friends together, but it also can carry some potential risk for your pet. Follow these tips to keep your pets healthy and safe during the holiday.

Food Toxicity Risk

Pet owners need to keep in mind that majority of the food we eat on Thanksgiving are fatty foods that hard for you animal to digest and can lead to serious health risk. Poultry bones can damage your pet’s digestive tract. And holiday sweets can contain ingredients that are poisonous to pets.

  • Turkey:  Eating turkey or turkey skin, even in a small amount, can lead to pancreatitis. Fatty foods are hard for animals to digest, and many foods that are healthy for people are poisonous to pets.
  • Turkey Bones: Cooked bones can splinter, puncturing the digestive tract!
  • Raisins and Grapes – Grapes and raisins can cause acute (sudden) kidney failure in cats and dogs. It is unknown what the toxic agent is in these fruits. However, clinical signs can occur within 24 hours of eating and include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.
  • Onions: Onions contain an ingredient called thiosulphate which is toxic to cats and dogs. The ingestion of onions causes a condition called hemolytic anemia, which is characterized by damage to the red blood cells. Onion toxicity can cause the red blood cells circulating through your pet’s body to burst.
  • Pie and Desserts: Chocolate is harmful for pets due to the toxic component of theobromine. Humans easily metabolize theobromine, but dogs process it much more slowly, allowing it to build up to toxic levels in their system.
  • The artificial sweetener called xylitol, commonly used in gum and sugar-free baked goods, can also be deadly if consumed by dogs or cats.
  • Yeast/ Dough: Can cause problems for pets, including painful gas and potentially dangerous bloating.

Quick action can save lives. If you believe your pet has been poisoned or eaten something it shouldn’t have, call your veterinarian or local veterinary emergency clinic immediately.

You may also want to call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline: 888-426-4435.Signs of pet distress include: sudden changes in behavior, depression, pain, vomiting, or diarrhea. Contact your veterinarian immediately.