Thanksgiving is all about food with family, and if you’re lucky enough to count some furry friends as family members, it can be tempting to include them in the celebration by slipping some scraps to them under the table. Don’t do it! As Care2 reports, so many of our favorite foods can actually wreak havoc on the health of cats and dogs. Even a small taste of some can have scary, lasting effects, so to ensure a happy holiday for our fur babies, so we need to know which ones are dangerous. Here are the top 10 dishes to be extra careful with this Thanksgiving.
The first food on our list is one of the most dangerous! Whether you’re baking or throwing them into other dishes, keep those nuts – specifically walnuts and macadamia nuts – away from your pets. They can cause vomiting, neurological issues, seizures, and a scary condition called “macadamia nut toxicosis.” Even other kinds of nuts can cause pancreatic problems over time, due to high fat content, so play it safe and don’t let your pets near any kinds of nuts.
- Mashed Potatoes
While potatoes aren’t toxic to animals – and are fine in moderation – it’s the other ingredients in mashed potatoes that cause problems. Dairy additions like milk and butter will upset their stomachs, and garlic and onion – in all forms, including powdered – are toxic.
- Turkey Bones
It’s time to let that image of a “dog with a bone” die. Never let any of your pets near any type of bone! They can splinter and puncture internal organs. Even if they somehow stay intact, bones can also cause vomiting. Not worth it! And while we’re on the subject of turkey . . .
- Turkey Skin
Try to avoid giving your pet any part of the bird! Undercooked and raw meat is obviously bad for them and people – can you say “salmonella?!” – and only lean white meat is even close to being OK to slip under the table. However, we say just avoid it altogether, since the spices often rubbed into the turkey – onion, garlic, sage, etc. – are toxic, making the skin especially an absolute pet no-no.
- Cranberry Sauce
Like so many other ones on this list, it’s what we add to cranberries to make the sauce that makes this dish one pets should avoid: sugar! Even if it’s in the form of high fructose corn syrup, your pets should not eat it. Be careful of some other additions found in some homemade recipes: nuts – as we’ve mentioned – and raisins are both bad news for dogs and cats.
The same idea applies to our pies! While we all know we should never feed our pets chocolate pie, we might be tempted to share the pumpkin or sweet potato versions since those veggies can, in moderation, be good for Fluffy and Fido. Don’t do it! Most pumpkin and sweet potato pie recipes call for nutmeg and cinnamon, two animal-toxic spices that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, liver disease, seizures, and neurological disorders.
- Fruit Salad
We’ve already highlighted how nuts – a popular addition to holiday-friendly Waldorf fruit salads – can be bad for pets, but there are other things in this otherwise healthy dish that are decidedly unhealthy for pets. Grapes – and their dried descendants, raisins – cause kidney problems in pets, especially dogs.
- Uncooked Carbs
This one should be obvious, right? I mean, even we humans shouldn’t be eating uncooked bread dough or cake batter, thanks to the salmonella risk. Even if you’re willing to risk it yourself, don’t put your pet through the potential problem. Plus, uncooked bread dough can actually rise in the stomach, which would be absolutely painful for your poor cat or dog. Be careful!
- Green Bean Casserole
You can guess why this one is a problem by now, right? Green beans on their own— a great snack for man or beast. Green beans covered in mushroom soup and a fried onion topping— no go for our canine and feline friends.
The only thing in this dish that’s not toxic for pets is the bread. Everything else – mushrooms, onions, sage, garlic, leeks, chives, peppers, scallions – is toxically dangerous. Don’t let your pet near it!
Basically, if you’re making a dish with spices, nuts, eggs or any dairy, keep it away from your pets. Did anything on this list surprise you? Do you know of any other ones we should add? Who here is guilty of slipping some “people food” to your pets?