Have Your Pet Avoid These Thanksgiving Hazards

Thanksgiving is only a few days away. Are you aware that the holiday presents several hazards for our furry friends? Here, your Upper Arlington, OH veterinarian tells you what to be on the lookout for.

Toxic Foods

Thanksgiving is a holiday full of food—much of it isn’t good for pets! Toxic foods include grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, chives, avocado, salt, certain nuts, caffeinated beverages, chocolate, and candy. In addition, fatty, buttery, or rich foods can cause upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea. Alcohol is another big no-no, as it can cause poisoning in very small amounts. Take care to have your pet avoid beer, liquor, wine, champagne, and any foods cooked with alcohol.


Thinking of slipping your pet a tasty turkey bone this holiday? Think again. Bones, both cooked and uncooked, can splinter apart and create razor-sharp pieces that can lacerate a pet’s mouth or puncture the intestinal lining when swallowed. Try giving your pet a favorite chew toy or even a pet treat instead of a bone.

The Garbage Bag

Your post-Thanksgiving-meal garbage bag is a treasure trove of pet hazards, including coffee grounds, bones, and potentially toxic foods. Since pets can rip open a flimsy garbage bag with ease, it’s important to place the bag somewhere that pets don’t have access. You can also put the bag inside of a solid plastic container or trash receptacle so pets can’t reach it.

Holiday Decorations

While common holiday plant decorations like fall corn, gourds, and pumpkins aren’t toxic to animals per say, they can cause harm if a pet decides to chow down. Any foreign substance can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and parts of these decorations can also cause intestinal blockage or choking. Make sure your pet doesn’t try to munch on these items, especially if your animal companion has been known to nibble on things he or she shouldn’t.

Stress and Anxiety

One of the biggest hazards on Thanksgiving is one you may not have seen coming—stress and anxiety. Many pets can become overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of guests entering your home. Before the holiday, set up a “safe zone” in a quiet back room or the basement. Outfit it with a pet bed, a soft blanket, and a few of your pet’s favorite toys. Lead your pet here if you see them getting stressed.

Call your Upper Arlington, OH vet for more helpful tips.