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Thanksgiving Hazards for Dogs and Cats

November 15, 2018

Thanksgiving is almost here—you’re probably getting excited for good food, family, and football. It’s a safe bet that your pet will be included in the festivities, but remember to keep them safe. Below, learn about some common Thanksgiving pet hazards from your Newburgh, NY veterinarian.

Toxic Foods

Plenty of human foods you have on your holiday table aren’t safe for dogs and cats. Onions, as well as related foods like garlic, shallots, scallions, chives, and leeks, contain sulfates that can poison pets even in small amounts. Grapes and raisins have been known to poison dogs and cats alike; too much fatty food at once can make a pet ill, even causing life-threating acute pancreatitis; caffeinated food and beverages can quickly lead to serious symptoms. To be safe, keep your pet’s prying paws away from any and all Thanksgiving food this holiday.

Sweet Treats

Chocolate, as you probably know, is very bad for pets. It contains theobromine and caffeine, chemicals that don’t agree with our four-legged friends. Candies, gum, and many baked goods also present a threat; they’re often sweetened with xylitol, an artificial sugar that can poison a pet even in very small amounts. If you’re setting out sweet treats for your guests this Thanksgiving, make sure that your pet doesn’t get anywhere near them!


Will your Thanksgiving celebrations include adult beverages? Remember that alcohol of all types—beer, liquor, wine, champagne, etc.—is very dangerous for your dog or cat! Pets experience the same kind of reaction to alcohol that we do; the difference is that very small amounts can lead to alcohol poisoning. Keep a close eye on all drinks during your Thanksgiving festivities to make sure that your pet doesn’t imbibe, and never give your pet alcohol of any kind on purpose.

The Garbage

One Thanksgiving hazard that you may not have considered is your garbage, especially after the big holiday meal has been eaten and cleaned up. Your holiday garbage bag could contain all sorts of things that pets shouldn’t ingest—toxic foods, fat-covered aluminum foil, twine, and coffee grounds are just a few of the possibilities. Keep the garbage bag in a closed container so that your pet can’t rip it open to get at the contents.

We want to wish you and your family a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Contact your Newburgh, NY veterinary clinic for all of your pet’s care needs.