It can be so tempting in the spirit of Thanksgiving or Christmas to share our delicious meals that have been cooking for hours with our furry friends. And while some meat (without skin/bone/stuffing) may be okay there are some foods you may not cook with regularly that should stay off our pet’s plate.

1. Spicy foods – Dogs don’t eat spicy food so introducing them probably with other new flavours are sure to throw your pet’s digestive system off and cause vomiting, abdominal pain and gastro upset.
2. Turkey Skin – This is high fat and likely holds marinades, spices, butter, oils all of which are difficult to digest. High fat foods like turkey skin can lead to pancreatitis.
3. Onion and alliums (ie., garlic, leeks, scallions) – large quantities of these can lead to toxic anemia, especially in dogs. Small, well-cooked portions may be okay but this is one to avoid. Also consider whether any stuffing has onions/alliums before serving up some stuffed turkey.
4. Chocolate – The cocoa tree contains theobromine and caffeine. Bother are toxic to dogs. The smaller the dog and/or the higher the concentration of theobromine and caffeine (depending on what type of chocolate – milk/dark/unsweetened baking) will determine the severity of the effects. Dogs metabolise theobromine slowly, it can take up to 20 hours, during which time it interferes with the central nervous system, heart and kidneys.
5. Grapes & Raisins – Watch for these in stuffing, pies, puddings etc. These fruits have been found to cause kidney problems in dogs. Best to steer clear!
6. Xylitol – This sugar substitute is highly toxic and deadly to dogs. It can be found in sugar-free cupcakes, cookies, gums & mints. It may be in the house for cooking purposes. Be careful all year with items containing xylitol.
7. Macadamia Nuts – it is recommended that you not feed these to your pets
8. Alcohol – We have all known a dog who has taken their turn at the appetizer tray left on the coffee table unattended, but keep an eye out for drinks that can be knocked over or “tasted” if left on low tables as well. Dogs are more susceptible to the effects of alcohol because of their smaller size.
9. Cooked Bones – Cooked Bones have a tendency to splinter, this can happen even in your dog’s digestive tract. Cooked ham and turkey bones aren’t safe. Dispose of them safely as well.
10. Sage – This herb’s essential oils can cause stomach upset.