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Help Your Pet Avoid Thanksgiving Hazards

November 15 2015

Thanksgiving, like any holiday, brings with it a few pet hazards to be aware of. Keep the fun in your holiday this year—use these tips from a McHenry, IL veterinarian to keep your pet safe.

Toxic Foods

Many foods on your Thanksgiving dinner table aren’t good for pets. These include grapes, raisins, onions, leeks, chives, garlic, chocolate, candy, caffeinated beverages, certain nuts, salt, and more. Alcohol is also very dangerous for our animal companions. Never leave dangerous foods out on the kitchen table or countertops where pets could potentially swipe them down.

Hot Surfaces

It’s best to keep pets out of the kitchen on Thanksgiving, not only because of the toxic foods floating around but because of the various hot surfaces. Stovetops, ovens, coffeepots, toasters… the list goes on and on, and you don’t want to deal with a serious burn in the middle of your meal preparations. There are also plenty of sharp objects in the kitchen—knives, graters, forks, etc.—that your pet could cut themselves on.

Table Scraps

Don’t allow any of your holiday guests to slip your pet fatty table scraps or gristle, as this may cause an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea in many pets. Too much fat can even lead to acute cases of pancreatitis! If you’d like to give your pet a special holiday treat, stick to a small piece of fully-cooked white-meat turkey.


It’s tempting to slip your pet a turkey bone on Thanksgiving, but think twice. Bones, both cooked and uncooked, can splinter and chunk apart when chewed. At the very least, this can cause a choking hazard. Shards can also lacerate a pet’s mouth or puncture the intestinal lining, requiring quick veterinary attention. Instead of bones, give your pet a good chew toy or even a pet treat.


Keep a close eye on your holiday garbage bag, because it’s likely full of pet hazards. Coffee grounds, bones, toxic foods, string that wraps turkeys, fatty gristle, and more can all be found in the trash. Either place the garbage bag in another room where pets don’t have access, or put it inside of a plastic container so that pets can’t rip into it and get at the contents inside.

Would you like further helpful tips for keeping your beloved animal companion safe on Thanksgiving? Give your vet in McHenry, IL a call today to learn more.