Thanksgiving Hazards for Dogs and Cats

Thanksgiving will be here before you know it. Your pet is probably as excited as you are to celebrate with food, family, and football. Just make sure they stay safe! Below, your Sugar Land, TX vet tells you about a few common Thanksgiving hazards for pets, and how to have your animal companion avoid them.

Toxic Foods

Plenty of common holiday foods aren’t safe for dogs and cats. Onions, as well as related foods like garlic, shallots, scallions, chives, and leeks, contain sulfate compounds that can poison pets. Grapes and raisins have been known to poison dogs and cats, too, although the toxic agent isn’t known. Other dangerous foods include salt, fatty foods, caffeine, certain nuts, and rich or buttery foods. It’s best to keep your pet away from the holiday dinner table, and out the kitchen entirely when preparing the meal.


You’re probably already aware that chocolate is very bad for pets. It contains theobromine and caffeine, chemicals that don’t agree with our four-legged companions. Other sweet treats like candy, gum, and certain baked goods are made with xylitol, an artificial sugar that is fine for humans but toxic to animals. By the time the big meal is over and you’ve moved on to dessert, make sure your pet doesn’t have a chance to indulge in sweets of any kind.


Will your Thanksgiving celebrations include alcoholic beverages? Keep in mind that alcohol of all types—beer, liquor, wine, champagne, etc.—is very hazardous for your dog or cat. Pets actually respond to alcohol just like we do. The only difference is that very small amounts can lead to alcohol poisoning. Watch drinks closely during your Thanksgiving festivities to make sure that your pet doesn’t imbibe, and never give your pet alcohol of any sort on purpose.

The Garbage

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

Call your Sugar Land, TX animal hospital for more great Thanksgiving safety tips.

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