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Keeping Your Pets Safe At Thanksgiving

Keeping Your Pets Safe At Thanksgiving

The holidays are a great time to get together with family and friends and appreciate all that we have in our lives. A lot of our pets also appreciate these gatherings, as food is plentiful and the humans are distracted in conversation just enough for our pets to sample some of the delicious human food.

Often after major holidays, we see many cases of dogs (and sometimes cats) who get into the garbage or food that is left out. Here are some foods and things to be mindful of this holiday season.

Chicken And Turkey Bones

Most of our pups love chewing on a good ol’ bone now and then. While raw bones and rawhides can be somewhat safe, cooked bones are not, and can be very dangerous. When the bones have been cooked, they become brittle and can come apart in small shards. These shards splinter causing injury to mouths, tracheas, internal organs and/or cause choking.


Walnuts, almonds, cashews and peanuts can be a good starter snack for humans during the holidays, but contain high amounts of oils and fats. These fats can upset their stomachs, causing vomiting, diarrhea and sometimes pancreatitis.

Grapes And Raisins

This is a common one that most people know to be toxic, but it’s always a good reminder. Can potentially cause kidney failure in both dogs and cats, so best to avoid in general.

Chocolate and Caffeinated Drinks

Chocolate can be toxic to both dogs and cats. Dark chocolate is especially dangerous, as it contains more of the chemical ingredient in cacao that makes it so toxic to animals. Any beverage with caffeine, which also contains this same chemical can be equally fatal. Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and urination, tremors, seizures, and sometimes death.

Raw/Yeast Dough

Dough used to make bread and other foods can be extremely dangerous for both dogs and cats. The yeast in the dough causes the stomach to expand, which then causes excessive gas that can lead to stomach bloat, which can be fatal. The yeast also produces ethanol, which can cause the animal to become drunk.


The holidays generally call for libations to be flowing, and curious dogs or cat might want to see what the fun is about as well. Alcohol in any form can be toxic and sometimes fatal to our furry friends, causing vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, tremors, seizures, abnormal blood acidity, comas, and death.

If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these, and is acting abnormal in any way, it is advised to call ASPCA Poison Control at 888-426-4435 and/or head over to any of these ER facilities:

Med Vet Chicago= 3123 N. Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60618, 773-281-7110

Premier Veterinary Group= 3927 W. Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60618, 773-516-5800

Veterinary Specialty Center= 1515 Busch Parkway, Buffalo Grove, IL 60089, 847-459-7535

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