MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Thanksgiving is a day for family, and many of us consider our pets to be a part of that family. As people celebrate with Turkey and all the trimmings, it’s only natural for us to want to include the four-legged members of our family.

However, pet experts say what’s good for us is not always good for them, and some parts of the holiday feast could actually make your pets sick.


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If humans have too much turkey, it tends to make us sleepy. It can have much more serious effects on pets. Turkey bones can splinter, and should never be given to pets because the splinters could pierce the intestines. The ASPCA said pets should never be given uncooked or undercooked turkey, as it could carry salmonella. Some vets believe even cooked turkey can cause pancreatitis.


We love a good, rich stuffing, and so do your pets, but it’s bad for both of us. It will make us fat, but it could make them sick. Herbs and spices like the Sage used in stuffing can contain oil and resins that can cause pets to vomit or have diarrhea, and even cause depression if eaten in large enough quantities. Cats are particularly sensitive.


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Baked goods are not really good for animals, as it is outside their diets, but particularly dangerous are the raw ingredients. Don’t let your pet lick the bowl, as raw eggs used in batters could carry Salmonella. If you make bread, don’t let pets have the dough. The dough can expand in a pet’s stomach, and can led to problems up to and including surgery. Also some of the ingredients could be a problem. Grapes, raisins, chocolate, and other tasty items could make your furry friend sick.


It’s never a good idea to let your pet beg, but if you simply can’t resist sharing, follow the guidelines above as to shat NOT to give them and make the day an exception. Mashed potatoes, a bit of pumpkin pie, green beans, sweet potato, and a tiny bit of boneless cooked turkey should make them happy. But remember, their normal diet is best for them. Don’t let them overindulge, make sure they have no access to leftovers or garbage, and show your love by doing the best thing for their health. Make a special feast with their usual food, and as they enjoy their dinner, you have a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving with all of your 2-legged guests.

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  • Chocolate
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Raisins (and grapes)
  • Sage
  • Turkey skin and bones

Sources: ASPCA, Animal Planet