Don’t Let Pets Fall Victim to Thanksgiving Hazards

Is your pet ready for Thanksgiving? The holiday presents a few hazards for you to be aware of—you’ll want to take proper precautions to keep your animal friend safe! Use your Ellicott City, MD veterinarian’s tips to make sure the big day goes smoothly.

Dangerous Foods

All sorts of foods in your kitchen and on your Thanksgiving dinner table could prove harmful to a pet. Some common offenders include onions, garlic, chives, grapes and raisins, salty items, caffeinated foods and beverages, chocolate, candy and gum sweetened with xylitol, and fatty table scraps. Don’t let holiday guests feed your pet any tasty morsels, and don’t allow them access to the kitchen during meal preparation.


Bones, whether cooked or raw, can chunk or splinter apart dangerously when your pet chews on them. This presents a choking hazard, and sharp shards could cut your pet’s mouth or stomach when swallowed. Don’t give your pet turkey, ham, or chicken bones—instead, offer them a pet chew toy to satisfy their cravings.


Will your Thanksgiving celebrations include alcoholic beverages? Keep in mind that alcohol of all sorts—liquor, wine, beer, champagne, even certain foods made with alcohol—can harm a pet who manages to ingest it. Alcohol, in fact, affects pets just like it affects us; the difference is that it can poison an animal in very small amounts. Never leave drinks unattended so that a curious pet could imbibe.

The Garbage

Always store your holiday garbage bag in a closed container or in another room entirely where your pet can’t reach. It’s all too easy for a pet to rip open a garbage bag to get at the contents inside, which could include toxic foods, coffee grounds, bones, fat-covered aluminum foil, and other hazards.

Seasonal Hazards

Autumn in Maryland presents a few hazards of its own for our animal companions. Veterinarians often see an uptick in pesticide- and rodenticide-related poisonings, as pesky critters invade our homes for warmth and we set up pest-control toxins to ward them away. Also beware of portable heating devices, as unsuspecting pets could get too close and burn themselves by accident. Outdoors, make sure your pet strays away from seasonal mushrooms and areas where wild animals may be hiding.

Would you like further advice on keeping your pet safe this Thanksgiving? Give your Ellicott City, MD veterinary clinic a call for help. We’re here for you!

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