Thanksgiving with sweet dog

Thanksgiving food: NOT for your dog

The holiday that is synonymous with family and food, Thanksgiving is also an exciting time for our pets.  All the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes for dogs to sample is like visiting doggy heaven.  We, as dog owners, need to be extra vigilant during the holidays about what we allow our dogs to eat, though.  There are still plenty of ingredients that can make our pets sick, and possible cause damage to their digestive system, liver, kidneys, or worse.  Here are some foods you want to avoid at all costs.

Real Bones

Stick to milk bones or toy bones for your dog.  Giving them leftover turkey, chicken, or other animal bones might appear to be a great gesture for your pet, but you would be putting them at-risk for some serious problems if they happen to start chipping away at them and swallowing pieces.  The bone shards can put their lives in danger if they cut into them on the way down, and out.

Raw Dough and Batter

Even though it tastes good and even if the cookie batter doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients, like chocolate, it can still cause major issues with your dog’s digestive tract if you feed it to them uncooked.  This is because dog’s have a higher average body temperature than we do, so the heat can trigger the raw batter to expand and making your dog want to throw it back up, or worse, depending on how far along the digestive process it is.

Alcoholic Beverages

You may have seen some funny videos of dogs drinking beer, but in reality this is not just some harmless fun.  Alcohol can make dogs really gassy, nauseous, and get really sick.  They can start vomiting, have seizures, and not to mention the immediate stress that is placed on their liver.  Dogs can die from drinking much less alcohol than you would assume.


For multiple reasons, nuts are bad for your dogs.  There’s an immediate choking hazard involved, as they can’t chew them properly, there’s a hidden toxicity that can potentially kill dogs, and there is the process of having to pass them when they defecate, which can potentially damage their rectum/anus.

Mushrooms, Onions, Garlic

Many vegetables are potentially harmful to dogs, but these three ingredients will be in a lot of Thanksgiving dishes, so they are worth pointing out.  All three of these ingredients contain toxic properties to a dog’s digestive system.  Onions and garlic can kill off red blood cells, which can cause your dog to become anemic, which is not immediately apparent, but can cause damage to organs.


This ingredient can ruin perfectly good dishes that are great for dogs, namely sweet potatoes and pumpkin.  That is because nutmeg can affect your dog’s central nervous system and cause seizures and nerve damage.

During the holidays and beyond, always keep your dog safe by avoiding these mentioned items.  Always use caution when tossing your dog any human food.  If you’re not sure he should be eating it, then don’t take any chances.  Negligence on your part could result in a very sick dog – or worse.