From Chocolate to Food Scraps: Tips to Keep Cats and Dogs Safe This Thanksgiving


Furry companions are family. As we gather and give thanks this holiday season, it’s important to show some extra love to the special dogs and cats in our lives. 

Best Friends Animal Society, a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of cats and dogs in America’s shelters by 2025, has compiled a list of safety precautions to help ensure pets have a safe and happy Thanksgiving: 

  • Scrap Giving Scraps: Too much rich, fatty, or simply new foods can upset a pet’s stomach—and even cause pancreatitis, which can be life-threatening. Encourage guests to hand out tasty pet treats or a fun toy instead. 
  • Bad to the Bone: Poultry bones can break up or splinter in a pet’s stomach and be deadly, so dogs and cats should never be allowed to gnaw on them. Instead, bones should be discarded in a closed trash can immediately.  
  • Avoid a Dessert Disaster: Pet parents should remember chocolate is toxic for dogs and should be kept out of reach. Other common food items that can be poisonous to dogs include onions, raisins, and grapes, which may be included in Thanksgiving staples such as stuffing, green bean casserole and more holiday favorites. 
  • Keep it Clean: After a day, or days, of cooking, food-flavored items may be too tempting to curious pets. If ingested, these can cause injury to their stomachs. Make sure prep items are properly discarded as soon as they are no longer needed and keep other potentially harmful items on high surfaces and out of reach.   

According to data from Best Friends Animal Society, more than 1,000 animals are killed in shelters every day. 

By adopting and fostering this holiday season, people can help give dogs and cats a reason to be grateful. 

To learn more about how to save a pet’s life this holiday season, visit 

Best Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to around 378,000. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of more than 4,400 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All®. For more information, visit