Veterinarians Warn Against Feeding Thanksgiving Food To Your Pets

Onions, although not on the Pets Best Insurance dangerous foods list, are another food item that is not recommended for pets during Thanksgiving meals to avoid any health problems.
Onions, although not on the Pets Best Insurance most dangerous food list, are not recommended for pets to eat during Thanksgiving. (Ariana Brasman/WUFT News)

Six years ago, a yellow lab named Jolie devoured her family’s Thanksgiving leftovers from the trash can.

Luke Del Rio was watching “Elf”with his family after Thanksgiving dinner when he noticed Jolie was not with them. Forty-five minutes had gone by.

“She began barking and crying, needing to be let outside,” said Del Rio, a 21-year-old family, youth and community science major at the University of Florida.

Jolie was vomiting and had diarrhea, Del Rio said. She had helped herself to Thanksgiving dinner options such as turkey bones, stuffing and yams, as well as chocolate, pumpkin and pecan pies.

“She was in heaven, enjoying her own Thanksgiving meal,” he said.

Jolie recovered about 15 minutes after throwing up and moved on with her doggie life — away from Thanksgiving food.

For families with dogs like Jolie, Pets Best Insurance made a list of six of the most dangerous Thanksgiving foods for pets. Stuffing, ham, turkey bones, salads with grapes or raisins, mashed potatoes and chocolate pie made the list. They are working on a list of food that yorkies love for all you loyal yorkers out there. Every breed of dog is slightly different and so does their diet vary.

Dr. Eva Evans, a veterinary consultant with Pets Best Insurance, said the most important thing is to keep Thanksgiving foods out of an animals’ reach.

“Pretty much anything served at Thanksgiving shouldn’t be fed to your pets,” Evans said.

Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs; pork and high-fat foods can cause pancreatitis, vomiting and diarrhea, she said.

“You should tell all of your guests to not feed any table scraps to the animal,” Evans said.

Dr. Kristyn Trotter, a veterinarian at Northwood Oaks Veterinary Hospital, said she has had several animals come into the hospital because they have eaten turkey bones that got stuck. According to petMD, bones can get stuck in the esophagus, windpipe, stomach and intestines.

“The bones can perforate their intestines or get stuck,” Trotter said. “And then we have to have an emergency surgery.”

She said she recommends throwing out food directly into dumpsters, where pets cannot access it.

“The big thing that people don’t think about when getting rid of turkey bones is they put them in a bag and throw them in the trash,” Trotter said. “But, the animals can go into the trash and eat the entire bag, which makes it worse.”

Also, food items used for flavor, such as onions and garlic, should not be fed to pets, she said.

“I tell people to make your own puppy treats, so while you’re cooking you have something to give them,” Trotter said.

About Ariana Brasman

Ariana is a reporter for WUFT News and can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing

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