Thanksgiving Pet Safety for Oak Park’s Pets

Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for family, friends, and food! And who better to shower with appreciation than your pet who gives you nothing but unconditional love year after year? Show them how much you care by sharing the feast with them! To do so safely, we’ve created a list of what foods are safe and which are dangerous for them to eat. Thanksgiving pet safety is all about the food, so review our list and contact our animal hospital in Oak Park if you have any questions!

Thanksgiving Pet Safety in Oak Park: A White Dog Next to Food Items That are Dangerous for Pets

Safe Thanksgiving Foods to Share with Your Best Friend

The foods on this list are all safe to share with your furry family. However, keep in mind that you should only share human food with them in moderation to prevent weight gain. Keeping human food to less than 10% of your pet’s total diet is a good range to shoot for. Now, let’s look at the foods they can enjoy!

  • Beef – It needs to be lean, unseasoned and well-cooked to be safe.
  • Bread (white and wheat) – Bread is only safe if it is plain and completely cooked.
  • Broccoli – Both cooked and raw broccoli is safe, but be aware the raw broccoli can be difficult for dogs and cats to digest.
  • Brussels sprouts – Brussels sprouts are safe for pets, but they need to be cooked and unseasoned.
  • Carrots – Carrots can only be shared with cats when they are cooked, but dogs can enjoy them both cooked and raw.
  • Celery – Celery could cause diarrhea in larger amounts, but it is safe in small quantities.
  • Cheese – Most cheeses are safe in small amounts.
  • Chicken – Chicken needs to be lean, boneless, skinless, unseasoned, and well-cooked.
  • Cinnamon – Cinnamon is okay to share in very small amounts; in larger quantities, it could become toxic.
  • Corn – Corn kernels are safe when cooked and plain, but corn on the cob could be a choking hazard.
  • Cranberry sauce – Share only a little because many recipes are quite high in sugar.
  • Gravy – Gravy is very fatty and is only safe in small quantities. Also, make sure there are no toxic ingredients in it like garlic or onions.
  • Green beans – These are safe for pets both cooked and raw.
  • Milk – Milk can cause some stomach upset since many pets are lactose intolerant, but it can still be shared safely in very small quantities.
  • Mushrooms – Store-bought mushrooms are safe, but wild mushrooms can be very dangerous. It may be best not to share any mushrooms with your pet to keep them from investigating the wild varieties.
  • Nutmeg – Nutmeg is only safe for cats in tiny amounts. For dogs, however, nutmeg is unsafe.
  • Pork – Share only lean, boneless pieces. Ham and bacon should not be shared.
  • Potatoes – Cooked and unseasoned potatoes are safe, but they should not be fried. Mashed potatoes with a bit of milk are okay, as well. However, raw potatoes are lethal to cats and toxic to dogs.
  • Pumpkin – Pumpkin that is plain and cooked is safe and even good for pets! Yet, pumpkin pie filling should be avoided.
  • Rice (white or brown) – Cooked and plain rice is safe for pets.
  • Sweet potatoes/candied yams – Plain, cooked sweet potatoes and yams are safe. Only a small amount of the candied kind is okay, as long as it has limited spices and no nutmeg for dogs.
  • Turkey – Turkey is safe to share as long as it is well-cooked, lean, boneless, and skinless.

Unsafe Foods to Keep Away from Your Pet

All of these foods should never be shared with your pet, even in very small amounts. If your pet does ingest any of these items, contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661 for guidance on what to do next.

  • Chocolate – Chocolate is a well-known toxin for dogs and cats. It contains theobromine and caffeine, which are difficult for pets to metabolize. Darker chocolate has higher concentrations of these stimulants, and so is that much more dangerous!
  • Garlic – Garlic contains thiosulfates which are toxic to dogs and even one clove can cause toxicosis in cats.
  • Grapes/raisins – Grapes and raisins are harmful to cats and dogs due to the toxic compounds they contain.
  • Green bean casserole – Casseroles, including this one, are often too rich for our pets to enjoy due to the added ingredients like cheeses, cream, and butter.
  • Ham – This salty meat has far too much sodium for cats and dogs to enjoy safely, and the fat content is too high! The same thing goes for bacon!
  • Nutmeg – Nutmeg contains myristicin which is highly toxic to dogs. For cats, it is acceptable in very small amounts.
  • Onions – Onions (and onion powder, dehydrated onions, and any other forms of onions) are highly toxic to cats and dogs.
  • Pecan pie – This pie is way too sugary and rich for our pets.
  • Pumpkin pie – While plain pumpkin is safe, the added ingredients in pumpkin pie such as the condensed milk, sugar, and spices, make this a no-no for pets.
  • Stuffing – Stuffing is dangerous due to the ingredients it contains like onions, garlic, chives, and shallots.
  • Xylitol – Xylitol may not be a food per se, but it is an artificial sweetener that is found in many sugar-free baked goods and candies, as well as some peanut butter brands! It is highly toxic to cats and dogs.

Looking for more information about Thanksgiving pet safety? Contact our animal hospital at (708) 248-8888 for more tips or talk to your veterinarian at your next appointment!