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FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole – you’re probably salivating just thinking about Thanksgiving dinner and it’s more than likely that your dog is too!

Before everyone sits down to eat, it’s important to know what foods are off-limits for pets and it’s a good idea to inform your house guests as well.

“So much of Thanksgiving centers around food and eating that people are often tempted to feed a traditional holiday meal – complete with turkey and stuffing – to their pets. But those foods can actually make your dog or cat very sick, and at times, can even be deadly,” said Dr. Tim Johnson, a veterinarian with Broward County Animal Care.

To keep your pet safe, do not feed them any part of the Thanksgiving meal. While people may think turkey is safe, often the seasoning from the turkey drippings, along with the skin and gravy can cause pancreatitis – inflammation of the pancreas. Turkey bones are particularly dangerous since they can splinter and cause intestinal damage. Keep your pet in another room so he can’t beg at the table.

Before dinner is even served, make sure the food is pushed far away from the ledge — even the most well-behaved pets may not be able to control themselves from jumping up and chowing down. Once the feast is over, the same goes for the trashcan.

Secure the garbage pail! Table scraps, food wrappings, bones, and other items can be very tempting. Items like aluminum foil and the string from the turkey can be harmful if consumed. Be sure that all trash containers – both inside the house and outside – are securely closed so that animals cannot tear through the garbage for a private Thanksgiving feast.

As we go through the holidays, do not give your pets chocolate, alcohol or eggnog. Chocolate is toxic and can affect the heart and nervous system. Alcohol can cause coma and even death. Eggnog is very rich and can cause diarrhea.

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