Can Dogs Eat Turkey and Other Thanksgiving Safety Questions

The fall holiday season is well underway. Halloween with all its sugary delights is in the books. But now the real festive eating begins with Thanksgiving. So with so much food sure to be around your house during the big meal times as well as for snacks, which foods are safe and more importantly, which ones pose special dangerous to your pets?

Can Dogs Eat Turkey?
According to the experts with the AKC, the answer here is a resounding ‘Yes’ and ‘No.’ How’s that for a strong statement. Turkey itself  is not toxic to canines. In fact many commercial dog foods contain turkey which is rich in nutrients like protein, riboflavin, and phosphorous. When cooked plain, under the guidance of a veterinarian, it can be an essential part of a homemade dog food diet.

However, when picked off that sumptuous holiday bird you are cooking for the family, it is not so healthy.  All that butter and oils and seasonings not to mention the stuffing potentially full of onions, garlic, and herbs can cause unpleasant digestive upset in your pet. In worst case scenarios, they may suffer from pancreatitis, a condition that happens when the pancreas becomes inflamed. The pancreas, an organ near the stomach, helps digest food and control blood sugar. [source]

Pancreatitis in Dogs
The most common symptoms of acute pancreatitis in dogs are loss of appetite, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Other symptoms you may notice include swollen abdomen, abnormal posture like an arching of the back, diarrhea, lethargy, restlessness, and gagging.

Needless to say, but if your dog exhibits some of these problems for more than a day, or if these symptoms keep coming back, take him to the vet.


Although this is certainly not a complete list, here are several items which are either often overlooked or present the most problems.

turkey bones present many problemsBONES
Yes, dogs can choke on just about anything. Like their human counterparts, their eyes are bigger than their stomach but more importantly, they are also bigger than their throat and esophagus, a muscular tube connecting the throat to the stomach.
Some dogs will start pawing at their faces if they cannot breathe properly. Many will also start gagging, drooling, and being sick. All of these are signs that could indicate your dog has either swallowed something that has become stuck or that their neck is restricted and has caused swelling of the throat. [source]

Megaesophagus is a generalized enlargement of the esophagus, with a decreased to absent motility. Esophageal motility is required for moving food and liquid down to the stomach. The condition is seen more often in dogs as compared to cats. Some breeds are born (congenital) with this problem; for example, wire haired fox terriers and miniature schnauzers. Other breeds reported to be predisposed to this condition include: German shepherds, dachshunds, great Danes, Irish setter, Labrador retriever, pug, and Chinese shar-pei. [source]

Warning from the FDANO NO TO COKED BONES!
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises pet owners to feed neither cooked or raw turkey bones to their dogs. The cooking process makes bones more brittle, increasing the likelihood they might splinter and cause internal injury to your dog. Cooking can also remove the nutrition contained in bones. [source]



oninions can be dangerous for dogsONIONS
According to Sadie Cornelius, Marketing Director for Canine Journal told Reader’s Digest, Onions are a huge no-no when it comes to cats and dogs. “No matter what form they’re in (dry, raw, cooked, powder, or within other foods), onions are some of the absolute worst foods you could possibly give your pup (it’s poisonous for dogs, and it’s even worse for cats).”

N-propyl disulfide, a compound in onions, is what causes all of the damage. “The toxin causes oxidative damage to your dog’s red blood cells by attaching to the oxygen molecules in your dog’s red blood cells,” says the American Kennel Club. Onion and garlic powders are even more potent than fresh onions. If you think your dog may have eaten onions, a few symptoms of anemia to look out for include lethargy, weakness, decreased appetite, pale gums, fainting, and reddish urine.


turkey stuffing may contain a lot of hidden dangersSTUFFING
In addition to onions, many recipes for this holiday favorite call for other potentially problematic ingredients like wild mushrooms, grapes, raisins. All these can be destructive to your pet’s delicate system. While store-bought mushrooms are generally OK to feed to your pet, it’s advisable to stay away from wild mushrooms. Grapes and raisins can lead to kidney failure in pets and represent a choking hazard for small animals.



Ham is another popular staple around Thanksgiving. But ham and other salty meats and foods are very dangerous to pets. In addition to being high in fat, they are also very salty which can cause serious stomach ache or pancreatitis. Holiday ham is delicious but high in fat!

Watch out for all that chocolateCHOCOLATE
Chocolate can be lethal to pets because it contains theobromine, which causes increased heart rate, central nervous system stimulation and constriction of arteries. Baking chocolate is the worst because it contains the highest amount of theobromine. A potential lethal dose is only one pound of chocolate in a 16-pound dog. If your pet has gotten into chocolate you should contact your veterinarian immediately. [source]



methylated xanthine in caffeineCAFFEINE
Caffeine contains methylated xanthine that, like chocolate, stimulates the central nervous and cardiac systems and within several hours can cause vomiting, restlessness, heart palpitations and even death. So beware of any tasty delights that are infused with chocolate, cocoa or similar ingredients. And don’t let them get a taste of your morning Cup of Joe or sweet hot chocolate!


Many pets are lactose intolerant

Milk can also be problematic for animals because many of them are lactose intolerant and will develop diarrhea. Pets often lack the enzyme that is required to break down the sugar in milk and this can cause them to develop vomiting, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms. [source]


10 of the Most Dangerous Foods for Dogs


10 Thanksgiving foods you should never feed to your pets []
7 Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Pets []
Thanksgiving Safety Tips []
Can Dogs Eat Turkey? []
Thanksgiving Pet Safety []
Acute Pancreatitis in Dogs []
Pancreatitis in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatments []
How to Tell if Your Dog has Pancreatitis []
Thanksgiving Foods That Are Toxic to Cats and Dogs []
Can Dogs Eat Onions? []
7 foods to keep away from your pet this Thanksgiving (and some alternatives) []
Ten Things You Should Never Give Your Pet []
Can Dogs Choke? []
Enlargement of Esophagus in Dogs []
I am Your Dog’s Esophagus []
Can Dogs Eat Turkey Bones? []
Bones Can Kill Your Dog – Find Out Which Ones are Safe []


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