What is and isn’t OK to feed your pets during your Thanksgiving feast

Posted at 12:12 PM, Nov 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-21 12:12:00-05

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - There are some things you should never feed your pets, like chocolate, for example. It can be toxic. But some of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes could also have dangerous side effects.

At a time when families and friends typically slow down and give thanks, veterinarians are working around the clock.

Besides the usual annual checkups, Brent Green, DVM, says the doors at Sherwood South Animal Hospital are open 24/7 for emergencies. He was treating a beagle, Charlie, during our visit.

“She’s nervous and got into some stuff that she shouldn’t have. She’s on IV fluids. This is what we are trying to prevent,” Green said.

Veterinarians say food-related illnesses are quite common during the holidays. Dr. Carter Ward says most of the visits this time of year are a result of pets eating table scraps.

“We’ll see your typical vomiting, diarrhea, upset stomach, not wanting to eat very well,” Ward said.

You probably already know not to feed your dog turkey bones or anything else that could get caught in their throats or intestines, but the doctors warn stuffing, casseroles, or anything else with onions or garlic, ham, mashed potatoes, desserts, and artificial sweeteners can make an animal sick. If someone else made it, Dr. Ward says don’t risk it.

“Stay away from that, because you may not know what is in it if some other family member made it, and you don’t know what they put in it,” Ward said.

If you just can’t resist those sweet puppy dog eyes, there are a few things you can share with your pets. Dr. Green says think boiled and bland. For example, unseasoned turkey, chicken, veggies, and rice. If for some reason someone at the table breaks the rules, keep a close eye on your pet.

“If your dog does start to vomit or has loose stool or is lethargic or anorexic, that’s what we tell people to watch for. If that happens, bring them in. Maybe we catch it early and then we don’t have to stay in the hospital,” Green said.

The doctors say it’s probably best to keep your pets outdoors or in another room during your feast. That way they don’t get a taste of what they might be missing out on.


  • Fried turkey
  • Ham
  • Salad
  • Alliums (onion, garlic, scallion, shallot, leek, chives)
  • Stuffing
  • Casseroles
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Dessert
  • Alcohol
  • Corn on the cob
  • Gravy & trimmings
  • Grapes & rasins
  • Turkey twine


  • Bland chicken
  • Unseasoned vegetables
  • Boiled rice
  • Mac and cheese
  • Cranberry sauce 

Source - American Veterinary Medical Association

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