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The Top 3 Most Common Thanksgiving Hazards for Pets

The Top 3 Most Common Thanksgiving Hazards for Pets (1)

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Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude, family, and feasting. While you’re celebrating the holiday, it’s important to keep your furry family members safe. Your pets may be curious about all the delicious Thanksgiving aromas, but there are several hazards that could harm them. In this article, we’ll explore the top three common Thanksgiving dangers for pets, and how you can protect them.

Thanksgiving Foods and Pets


Turkey is the centerpiece of most Thanksgiving feasts, but it’s not pet-friendly. Many parts of the turkey can be hazardous to your furry friend. The spices and seasonings used to flavor the turkey can upset their stomach, while the high-fat skin and dark meat can lead to pancreatitis. Turkey bones are a particular concern as they can splinter and cause serious internal injuries.

Tip: If you want to share some turkey with your pet, make sure it’s plain, skinless, boneless breast meat.

Bread Dough

Unbaked yeast dough might eventually turn into delicious rolls, but it can expand in your pet’s stomach and lead to gastrointestinal blockages. It can also cause alcohol toxicity if fermentation occurs, and alcohol leaches into their bloodstream.

Onions, Garlic, Leeks, and Chives

These Allium family members are often used in Thanksgiving dishes, but they can damage your pet’s red blood cells and cause anemia if ingested in large quantities.


Pies, fruitcakes, cookies, chocolates, and other sweet treats that grace your Thanksgiving table often contain ingredients that are hazardous for pets. Raisins and currants can cause kidney failure, while chocolate can lead to neurological issues. Sugar-free treats are also risky, as they often contain xylitol, which can cause hypoglycemia and liver failure in dogs.

Fall Decor and Pets

Pumpkins, Corn, and Straw

While not toxic, pumpkins, corn cobs, stalks, and straw can pose a threat if ingested. They may cause gastrointestinal upset or blockages, especially if they’ve started to rot or mold.


Chrysanthemums, with their bright blooms, can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, loss of appetite, and difficulty walking if your pet decides to snack on them.

Autumn Crocus

The autumn crocus, although belonging to the lily family, is highly toxic to pets. Ingesting it can lead to anemia, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, difficulty breathing, multi-organ damage, seizures, shock, and even death.


Acorns can be toxic to dogs when consumed in large quantities. The tannins in acorns can cause gastrointestinal upset and, in severe cases, lead to kidney failure and death.

Visiting Guests and Pets

Preventing Escapes

With friends and family coming over, there’s an increased risk of your pet escaping through an open door. Ensure their microchip information is up-to-date before the holiday.

Medications and Edible Hazards

Guests may leave medications, sugar-free gum, and candy bars within your pet’s reach. Be vigilant to prevent accidental ingestion.

Managing Pet Anxiety

A house full of strangers can be stressful for your pet. Consider secluding them in a quiet, off-limits area with their preferred bedding, a new toy, and a long-lasting treat to help them relax.

In conclusion, while Thanksgiving is a time of celebration, it’s essential to be mindful of the potential hazards that can affect your beloved pets. By following these precautions, you can ensure that your furry friends have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.


1. Can I give my pet a small piece of turkey?

Yes, but it should be plain, skinless, and boneless breast meat without any seasonings.

2. What should I do if my pet ingests something harmful?

Contact your veterinarian or an emergency pet poison hotline immediately.

3. How can I prevent my pet from escaping when guests arrive?

Ensure that your pet’s microchip information is up-to-date and consider keeping them in a safe, quiet area.

4. Are there any pet-safe Thanksgiving treats?

Pet-safe treats include plain, unseasoned turkey and small portions of plain, cooked vegetables like green beans or sweet potatoes.

5. What should I do if my pet shows signs of illness after Thanksgiving?

Consult your veterinarian for guidance on addressing any health concerns in your pet.

mahatma gandhi portrait

- Mahatma Gandhi

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”