Thanksgiving is for eating everything in sight and then happily passing out on the sofa. Unfortunately, your pet shouldn’t do the same. Thanksgiving feasts are a minefield for cats and dogs, and you need to take great care when choosing what they can and cannot eat. Here’s a list of what not to feed your cat and what not to feed your dog on Thanksgiving.
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By now you probably know that chocolate is poisonous to pets, but it’s worth a reminder. Chocolate contains theobromine, a component easily metabolized by humans. Unfortunately, our furry friends process the component much more slowly so it builds up to toxic — sometimes lethal — levels. That makes chocolate a good example of what not to feed your dog or cat on Thanksgiving.
The effects of chocolate on an animal relate directly to the animal’s size. Large dogs might experience only an upset stomach if they consume a small amount, whereas tiny dogs could have more severe complications. Vomiting or diarrhea are more mild effects and serious signs of theobromine poisoning include hyperactivity, irregular heartbeat, internal bleeding and heart attack. If you suspect your pet has ingested any chocolate, contact your vet or an emergency animal hospital immediately.
- Grapes and Raisins
These delicious foods are a perfect example of what not to feed your dog on Thanksgiving. Dogs can experience acute kidney failure from grapes and raisins so watch out for salads and various desserts. While there are no reports of cats becoming ill from these fruits, we don’t recommend risking their health just for a small snack. There’s little chance they’ll show any interest in grapes or raisins anyway.
- Onions and Garlic
Alliums are flowering plants in the onion family. They include onions, garlic, chives, leeks, scallions and shallots. Unfortunately, all alliums are poisonous to both dogs and cats. Be on the lookout for these foods in salads, sauces, dressings, appetizers and more.
- Turkey Bones
Feeding bones to animals is a pet parenting issue that we’d like to put to rest. You’ve probably seen zillions of cartoons of dogs gnawing on bones. Real bones, as opposed to bone-shaped treats, can splinter and harm delicate stomachs, and that makes turkey bones a prime example of what not to feed your dog on Thanksgiving. It may surprise people that these bones can harm cats, as well.
- Pumpkin Pie
Another food you shouldn’t feed your pet is pumpkin pie. We highly encourage pet owners to give their animals plain pumpkin (learn more about how to safely prepare this superfood for your pets), but your critters need to stay away from pumpkin pie and pumpkin with any kind of spices or additives. Sugar and fillers aren’t good for animal tummies!
So there you have it: our list of what not to feed your dog or cat on Thanksgiving. Thankfully, there’s still plenty of delicious food for all, so Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Michelson Found Animals!