Everyone knows the best part of Thanksgiving is the food. However, while you look forward to your annual feast, it is important to look out for your pet as well. Many dishes that are commonly found on the Thanksgiving table can be harmful to your pet. In order to keep your dog or cat safe this Thanksgiving, you should keep a watchful eye on him or her, and make sure they aren’t getting into any human food that is unsafe for them to consume.

Food Your Pet Should Avoid

Thanksgiving dishes often contain ingredients we feed our pets everyday. However, there are many different ingredients added to these dishes that make them unsafe for your dog or cat. Even foods that seem harmless at first glance may contain ingredients that are dangerous for pets to consume. In order to keep your cat or dog happy and healthy this Thanksgiving, here are some holiday foods your pet will be better off avoiding.

    1. Turkey Skin

While feeding your pet a small piece or two of white meat is ok, giving your pet turkey skin can be dangerous. This is because the outside of the turkey is commonly rubbed and basted with ingredients, such as garlic and onion, that are toxic to cats and dogs.

    1. Cooked Bones

While your dog would love nothing more than to gnaw on a bone from the turkey, you should avoid giving your dog one. Cooked bones splinter easily and can injure your pet.

    1. Stuffing

Unless you make it yourself, you can’t be certain what goes into the Thanksgiving stuffing. Onions, garlic, scallions and other harmful ingredients are commonly used in this popular side. It is best for your cat or dog to avoid the dish altogether.

    1. Pumpkin or Sweet Potato Pie

While both of these foods are beneficial to pets on their own, in pie form, they are not. This is because pumpkin and sweet potato pie typically include nutmeg and cinnamon. Nutmeg can cause stomach discomfort if ingested. Cinnamon can also cause irritation. If you really want to give your pet a bite, set aside some pumpkin and sweet potato before it is combined with any other ingredients.

    1. Green Bean Casserole

While green beans are a safe and beneficial food for pets, it’s the seasoning, cream of mushroom soup and fried onion toppings, that aren’t safe for them to eat.

    1. Raw Dough and Batter

If you are baking, you should keep raw dough and batter out of your pet’s reach. The yeast found in bread dough can cause vomiting and severe bloating if eaten. Furthermore, bread dough and batter often include raw eggs, which may contain salmonella.

    1. Dishes Containing Raisins or Grapes

Grapes and raisins are popular ingredients to include in salads and desserts this time of year. While delicious to you, these are toxic to dogs and can result in kidney problems. Dishes containing these items should not be fed to your pet.

    1. Nuts

Nuts that are rich in fat such as walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, and pistachios can give your pet a major upset stomach.

Thanksgiving Pet Safety

There’s no better time to host a get-together with family and friends than Thanksgiving. While hosting a dinner or party can be a lot of fun for you and your pet, you should always keep safety in mind and plan ahead.

While “the more the merrier” may ring true to you, this isn’t always the case for your pet. Even if your cat or dog is a people-lover, a crowd of people, and the noise associated with a full house, may make your pet overly excited or nervous. If you believe this will be the case with your pet, you should place him or her in a another room away from guests. Not to mention, with visitors coming in and out, there is a greater chance your pet could slip out of the house unnoticed. Keeping your pet in a designated, separate area can help prevent them from getting loose.

The key to a successful and carefree Thanksgiving is planning. Just as you plan ahead for guests coming to your home, you should plan ahead for your pet as well. By taking these tips into consideration, you can focus on what your thankful for – your family, friends, and furry companions.