Thanksgiving is a great time to bond and enjoy a meal with your loved ones. Sitting around the holiday dinner table is one of the best times, especially with your beloved pup at your feet. Many pet owners want to share their tasty Thanksgiving morsels with their dogs–it is the holidays after all! But before you give Fido some leftovers in his food bowl, there are some safety tips you should know about feeding your dog during the upcoming holiday season.

Here are a few holiday foods to avoid and to offer your pet this Thanksgiving holiday:

Foods to Avoid:

  1. Alliums

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Alliums like onions, garlic, leeks, and scallions are a great additions to a Thanksgiving meal. Some people even give very small, well-cooked portions to their dogs. But if your pet ingests these in larger quantities, then it could lead to toxic anemia. You don’t want to have to rush your dog to the hospital on a holiday when you should be spending a happy day together. Instead, try avoiding alliums altogether.

  1. Grapes

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Grapes are a definite hazard to your pets. In dogs, studies have shown that it can cause kidney damage. In addition, fruits such as tomatoes, avocado, and raisins all have toxic qualities that can poison your dog, leading to fatalities. Below you will find that a small amount of cranberry sauce might be a good substitute to give your dog instead.

  1. Xylitol

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Xylitol, an active ingredient in sweeteners, is extremely poisonous to animals. Even small amounts can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) seizures, liver failure, or even fatalities in dogs. Not only should you avoid giving your dog Xylitol in sweeteners, but it is also found naturally in many foods. Make sure to also avoid giving your dogs any foods that contain:

  • Lettuce
  • Berries
  • Plums
  • Candies
  • Baked goods
  • Mushrooms
  • Oats
  • Various fruits

If your dog does ingest any of these items, take them to the vet right away as they will likely start to experience symptoms like vomiting, weakness, seizures, tremors, coma, lethargy, depression, or lack of mobility within 15 minutes to an hour after ingesting these ingredients.

  1. Chocolate

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Recipes containing chocolate are frequently used during the holidays to indulge in our sweet tooths. Although many people love ingesting chocolate, your dog sure won’t after the fact. Chocolate is another extremely toxic element for dogs. Small amounts can give your dogs an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea, while large amounts can cause muscle tremors, seizures, internal bleeding, and even a heart attack. The theobromine found in chocolate usually gives way to major hyperactivity. So, make sure to keep chocolate away from your pup. But if they do ingest it, you need to induce vomiting within 2 hours after ingestion.

  1. Alcoholic Foods/Beverages

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It might seem practical, but alcoholic foods and beverages should be nowhere near your pup! If you see an adult or family member with an open glass of wine or beer during the holiday season, make sure they keep it up high on a table or counter so your dog doesn’t get to it. Even a small amount of alcohol could be toxic for an animal, so keep your eyes peeled your dog doesn’t get into anything he or she shouldn’t!

Foods to Choose:

  1. Turkey

    adam croman turkey

If you want to share a Thanksgiving meal with your pup, shredded turkey is a optimum option. Turkey is a lean protein that is great for your pup because it’s low in fats and high in protein. But before you place some turkey in front of your dog, remember to remove excess skin and fat. Plus, you need to make sure any bones are removed so your pup doesn’t choke on them!

  1. Cranberry Sauce

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Cranberry is another healthy treat that you pup may appreciate in their food bowl! However, just be wary of the sugar in this ingredient. It may be best to only give them a small portion.

  1. Mashed Potatoes

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Mashed potatoes will certainly have your dog doing the twist! The side dish is a popular one at Thanksgiving and many major holidays. The filling vegetable paired with turkey and some other healthy, non-toxic side dishes are great ways to let your pup know you want to include them in the holiday festivities. But beware of additional ingredients. Dogs can’t have cheese, butter, sour cream, onions, or any type of gravy on their taters.

But before you serve out the mashed potatoes, make sure you grab a plain helping for pup to enjoy.

  1. Macaroni & Cheese

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Does your pup love dairy? If you have a leftover mac and cheese dish, it’s a safe option to give your pooch. Sometimes cats and dogs both have lactose intolerance though, so if you’re thinking about giving your dog a special Thanksgiving treat, try feeding them plain macaroni. They will appreciate the treat!

  1. Green Beans

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Fresh veggies are a great addition to any diet and plain green beans are an especially healthy treat for your pup. But if you’re making green bean casserole, it’s not a good idea to give your dog the dish because it’s mixed together with other unhealthy ingredients for your dog.

Why not let your adorable pup indulge with you this Thanksgiving. There are plenty of tasty snacks that will help your pet know he is loved —  and seeing the happy look on their faces will make you even more thankful for their presence this holiday season.