Thanksgiving Leftovers and your Pet

Thanksgiving Leftovers and your Pet

October came fast this year and with this month comes a swift shift in weather, a food filled family holiday, and a spooky fun day. October is a month that we are sure pets look forward to as well; leftovers from a Thanksgiving feast usually make their way into the food bowl. But sometimes, the outcome of the turkey and gravy meal will not leave your pet feeling thankful.


The excess fat and milk products in our Thanksgiving meals can upset our pets stomach and create an inflammatory and very painful condition known as pancreatitis.

We are pet owners too, and we know how hard it is to say “no” to those little sad eyes watching you under the table. Let’s go over what popular thanksgiving foods we should avoid sharing with our pets, and which ones can be shared (with discretion to your pet’s own health).


  1. The Turkey
  • Rule of thumb is to avoid any of the turkey bones and fatty skin/drippings
  • Turkey meat is actually a nice lean protein for pets – if you’re thinking of saving some for your pet, make sure it is a non-seasoned piece!
  1. Potatoes
  • Giving cooked potatoes in small amounts can be ok for your pet – it is all of the other things we add to it that can cause issues such as milk/cream, seasoning, green onions, butter, etc.
  • If you are unsure if you pet is sensitive to lactose, a safe bet is to avoid potatoes unless you save a plain cooked one saved just for them
  1. Vegetables (green beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower)
  • Nutritious to give to your pet on their own – but we need to watch the additives such as butter, milk/cream, and sugar
  • For corn; Avoid Corn on the Cob at all costs – if a cob is ingested, it cannot be broken down in the intestines and will usually result in a blockage in the intestines which equals surgery.
  1. Gravy
  • The high fat content in gravy becomes a big “ no no” when it comes to pets
  1. Cranberry sauce
  • Adding a touch of sweetness to your pet’s thanksgiving meal can be done with a dash of cranberry sauce, but please be warned as usually there is a high sugar content in any type of sweet sauces
  1. Baked Buns
  • A small tidbit of a baked bun can be ok for your pet, but if you are making your own baked goods avoid giving any raw/uncooked dough; the yeast and sugar in the dough can create a reaction in the body resulting in secondary hypoglycemia or alcohol poisoning.


Over-all, we want to avoid giving anything that is:

  • High in fat
  • High in sugar
  • Lactose products (Dogs and cats are lactose intolerant after weaned from their mother)
  • Bones
  • Onions/raisins/tomatoes/chocolate/xylitol

Of course, every pet is different in regards to their own health such as food allergies, and you know your pet best. If you do plan on making your pet a Thanksgiving plate, try to plan ahead with the cooked veggies, potatoes, and turkey before adding seasoning/milk/butter/gravy and make them their very own plate.


If you are unsure if something is safe to be given to your pet, the best bet is to avoid giving it; nothing would ruin Thanksgiving dinner more than a pet with a very upset stomach!

We hope this information helps you avoid a smelly mess on the Thanksgiving long weekend (or an exploratory surgery!) And as a last piece of advice; take that big garbage bag of leftovers and place it in a safe place away from the nose of your pet!

As always, we know pets get into trouble when there is delicious food around, and we are always here for you and your pet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week including holidays.

We hope your family (including furbabies!) have a happy Thanksgiving from your Team at Cypress View Vet!

Comments are closed.