Foods you can, and absolutely can’t, feed your pets this Thanksgiving

Sharing is caring, but sometimes sharing can be deadly

This Thanksgiving, not everyone will be able to join the feast.
This Thanksgiving, not everyone will be able to join the feast. (ASPCA)

Thanksgiving is about family, friends and food, but mainly food.

Hours upon hours are dedicated to sautéing, whisking and seasoning, leaving the house brimming with mouthwatering scents. Just imagine the torture your pets go through on this holiday, with noses that are way, way more powerful than ours.

Luckily, you can meet their pleading whines with some quick bites and tastes to make their own furry-friendly Thanksgiving plate. To help you assemble their feast, here’s a list of the things you can, and more importantly cannot, feed your dogs and cats:

  • Turkey: Just make sure it’s boneless and cooked well. Undercooked or raw turkey may contain salmonella. This goes for humans, too. Turkey bones are fragile and prone to splintering, putting your pets’ delicate insides at risk for puncturing.
  • Dairy: If you have a good understanding of your pets’ lactose tolerance, act accordingly. Some pets have a high tolerance and can handle a spoonful or two of mac and cheese while others couldn’t handle a lick of whip cream. Also be sure to remember that dairy appears in lots of Thanksgiving dishes (including desserts), even those you don’t expect.
  • Bread rolls: Unbaked, or underbaked, bread can actually give your pet alcohol poisoning from ingested yeast. However, properly baked bread should be safe for your pet to consume.
  • Garlic and onions: Members of the allium family, that includes leeks, chives, garlic and onions, are toxic for dogs. These foods may cause red blood cells to rupture and result in anemia, leading to later organ failure.
  • Green beans: These vegetables are always a good treat for pets, regardless of the day of the year. However, if your green bean casserole contains dairy and onions — as any good green bean casserole should — then you might want to skip out on sharing.
  • Grapes and raisins: These are poisonous to dogs, do not include in their holiday feast unless you want to risk renal failure.
  • Chocolate: This should be left unsaid at this point as chocolate is one of the most common poisonous foods for dogs. The level of toxicity varies on what type of chocolate, with white chocolate being the least dangerous. Something to note this holiday: Baking chocolate can cause the most harm to dogs, this includes cake and brownies. Ingestion of chocolate can cause heart problems for your furry friend.

This being said, perhaps the best plan of action this Thanksgiving is instilling a strict guard schedule for all counters and tables where a curious nose might come sniffing. It’s also a good idea to make your family, especially younger children, aware of your pet’s dietary restrictions.