Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Pet Parents

Before Turkey Day arrives this year, consider your pet’s safety. Like most holidays, Thanksgiving brings its own set of potential pet dangers! Learn about them below from a Richmond vet.

The Thanksgiving Meal

As much as you love your Thanksgiving meal, it’s best to keep it to yourself and refrain from slipping your pet any human foods. Fatty table scraps, salty items, and buttery food will upset a pet’s stomach, and various human foods are actually toxic. The list includes grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, avocado, chocolate, candy, coffee, and macadamia nuts. If you must indulge your furry friend, only let them have a small snippet of cooked white-meat turkey or a small dab of plain mashed potatoes.


Don’t give your dog cooked or uncooked bones. They can easily splinter apart, creating sharp slivers that can puncture a pet’s intestines or cut up the mouth. Let your pooch chow down on a chew toy instead.

The Garbage

Don’t forget about the garbage bag—it’s a major holiday hazard this time of year. A post-meal garbage bag is home to all kinds of dangerous things for pets, from toxic foods to bones to coffee grounds. A determined pet can easily chew or rip through a garbage bag, so either put it somewhere they can’t reach or place the bag inside a container that pets can’t penetrate.


Does your Thanksgiving celebration include adult beverages? Please remember that alcohol is extremely dangerous for pets. It affects cats and dogs the same way it affects us, except that it doesn’t take nearly as much to do serious organ damage. Keep a close eye on all drinks, and never let your pet have any wine, beer, liquor, or champagne.

Overwhelmed Pets

Don’t neglect your pet’s anxiety level this holiday, especially if multiple guests are coming to your house. A lot of animals, especially older or extremely young pets, can easily be overwhelmed by the sheer volume and noise of guests. If you see your pet getting anxious, lead him to a quiet back room. Set up a pet bed, a soft blanket, and some of your pet’s favorite toys as a safe haven.

Contact your Richmond veterinary professional for more great holiday advice—keep the fun in this Thanksgiving by keeping your pet safe and happy!

Leave a Reply