(KMID/KPEJ)- With the holidays approaching, you can count on your furry friends hoping, even begging, for a snack from that Thanksgiving spread. But, before you give into that mooching pooch, be aware of the foods that can lead to illness or even death.

“There are always dangers to feeding our pets table foods because they are typically richer and apart (from) their normal diet. The best rule of thumb is to buy your pet fun, pet made treats so that we know it’s formulated for them and it’s not going to lead to issues that could pop up from a special treat,” said Pet Behavior Consultant Jessa Paschke.

These foods can pose a danger for your furry friends:

Turkey bones, skin and gravy

White meat turkey is fine to share with your four-legged friend, but bones can be a choking hazard and could injure their intestines.

Garlic, onions, scallions, chives

All of these are in the Allium family, causing toxic anemia in dogs and cats.

Grapes and raisins

Even a small serving of grapes can cause fatal kidney failure in dogs.

Chocolate and coffee

Just a small amount can cause vomiting or diarrhea for your dog, but larger amounts can be fatal.

Candied yams, mashed potatoes

While veggies like yams and potatoes aren’t bad for dogs, the added fat and sugar can make your dog ill.


Many of the seasonings that go into stuffing are harmful to dogs — not to mention the extra fats will upset your dog’s stomach.

Corn on the cob

The corn itself isn’t the problem — it’s the cob that can be a choking hazard.


The popular pumpkin pie spice is toxic in large doses but could make your pet sick in smaller amounts.

Dairy products

Milk and other dairy products like butter and cheese can be hard on a pet’s digestive system because they don’t have adequate amounts of lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk and can cause diarrhea if ingested.


Dogs can feel the effects of alcohol just like humans do, but our furry friends are much smaller than us so the risk for alcohol poisoning is greater.


This plant-derived sweetener is extremely toxic to pets and can mess with their blood sugar or cause seizures and liver failure. It’s found in many baked goods, so be sure to read your labels carefully if you aren’t making homemade.

If you believe your pet has eaten something it shouldn’t have, call your veterinarian or local veterinary emergency clinic immediately. You may also want to call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline at 888-426-4435. Signs of pet distress include sudden changes in behavior, pain, vomiting, or diarrhea.

And if you are having a hard time resisting those pleading puppy dog eyes, these holiday foods ARE safe for both dogs and cats:

  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet potatoes (no added dairy)
  • Mashed potatoes (no added dairy)
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Corn (no cobs)
  • Salmon
  • Bananas
  • Apples (not the core or seeds)
  • A couple bites of turkey (no skin)

These foods should be served plain and not doctored up with seasonings or butter.

Aside from safe or unsafe foods, pet owners may also notice some other issues with their furry family members as the holidays approach, such as anxiety or bad behavior, especially when inviting guests into your home.

“We’re hustling, we’re bustling, we’re moving around all the time…we’re having guests in the home and that can be kind of scary for our pets. So, things to look out for if your pet is experiencing any anxiety, is trembling, whining, yawning a lot, panting, or if you can see the whites in their eyes. With cats, we tend to see them hide a bit more when they’re anxious, but we also might see some other forms of vocalization. That’s a sign they’re overstimulated or stressed,” Paschke said.

To help your pets cope with anxiety, if you’re planning to have a lot of people over, Paschke recommends designating a small room for them with some of their favorite things, along with some soft music playing in the background.