Thanksgiving foods that are dangerous for your dog

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Thanksgiving is here, and as we get ready to spend time with family and enjoy a delicious meal, it’s also important to keep in mind there are many Thanksgiving foods that can be dangerous for your dog.

Some dangerous foods can be obvious. But other seemingly-harmless foods can be just as bad, if not worse. Here are some foods you should make sure to keep away from your furry friend this holiday season:

Cooked bones

Cooked bones can cause serious digestive issues for your pet. PetSmart says the bones can splinter and get lodged in their gums, throat or intestinal tract.

If you do give your dog some turkey, make sure it’s boneless. You should also make sure it’s well-cooked. The ASPCA says raw or undercooked turkey can contain salmonella bacteria.

Onions, garlic, scallions and chives

These foods contain thiosulphate, whether they are raw or uncooked. The substance can damage your pet’s red blood cells and cause gastrointestinal upset, breathlessness, diarrhea and vomiting.

Gum, mints, candy, baked goods (Xylitol)

Xylitol is a sugar substitute found in many candies and baked goods that is extremely dangerous for dogs. The substance is toxic to them and could even be deadly. It can cause dangerously low blood sugar and liver damage.

The ASPCA says initial signs of toxicosis include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. Seizures are also possible.


Chocolate is widely known to be a dangerous food for dogs. It contains theobromine, a substance that can cause issues like overstimulation of the heart, hyperactivity, tremors, seizures and, in extreme cases, death.

Different kinds of chocolates have different levels of theobromine. Unsweetened baker’s chocolate and cocoa powder are considered two of the most toxic types. White chocolate is the least toxic because it has the lowest amount of theobromine, according to the American Kennel Club.

If you think your dog ate chocolate, you should make sure to monitor for signs of toxicity like vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, increased urination and elevated or abnormal heart rate.

Uncooked yeast dough

Raw dough is toxic for dogs because the yeast continues to convert sugars to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol, the ASPCA says.

That can cause abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, disorientation and even depression in your pet, according to PetSmart. It can also trigger ethanol poisoning.


Alcohol can also cause ethanol poisoning in pets, which is why you should never let them have any food or drink that contains alcohol.

Ethanol poisoning can lead to severe health issues like difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, central nervous depression and decreased coordination. In extreme cases, it can cause a coma or even death.


Caffeine contains substances similar to those found in chocolate, and should not be given to dogs. That means coffee, soda, caffeine pills and energy drinks are all off limits.

They can cause hyperactivity, restlessness, vomiting, elevated blood pressure, elevated heart rate, seizures and other dangerous systems, according to PetSmart.

Macadamia nuts

PetSmart says macadamia nuts can cause severe reactions like muscular weakness, disorientation, depression, tremors and abdominal pain.

Grapes, raisins

Grapes and raisins can cause toxicity and major health concerns like severe gastrointestinal upset and kidney failure.

Other foods the ASPCA says you should avoid feeding your pet include avocado, citrus, dairy, raw or undercooked meat and eggs and salty snack foods.

If your pet does get into any of the food this Thanksgiving or is showing any signs of illness, you should call your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661. 

You can learn more from PetSmart or from the ASPCA.

If you do want to share some of your plate with your dog this holiday, the American Kennel Club says you can give your dog potatoes, sweet potatoes or green beans as long as they’re plain with no added ingredients. Turkey meat can be safe as long as it doesn’t have any bones, skin or seasoning, the AKC says.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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