Pumpkin is Good for Dogs, but Pumpkin Pie Is Not! Monday, November 12, 2012 Saturday, November 12, 2050

By Jo May Salonen, DogGestive Daily


As a follower of DogGestive Daily and fellow dog lover, you know the health benefits of giving your dog pumpkin. But we’re talking about pure pumpkin – NOT pumpkin pie filling! While a pumpkin pie might taste good, it’s filled with too much sugar for dogs, and if you use nutmeg in your recipe, then that piece of pie can become toxic to your dog!

With the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner, we want to share with you the top holiday foods and spices that are dangerous for your dog or cat.



Bones - Many pet owners are tempted to give leftover bones from the turkey, ham or steak to their dog, but these small bones can break into splinters and become lodged in the throat, stomach, or intestinal tract. If this happens, your dog could suffer extensive damage to the stomach and gastro-intestinal tract if the bone splinters are swallowed, and they can even puncture the small intestines. Play it safe and give your dog treats made just for them!

Raw or undercooked turkey – Just as this can make us sick, it can also make your dog sick. Undercooked meat may contain the deadly bacteria salmonella, which is just as harmful to animals as it is to humans.

Dough and Cake Batter – Resist the temptation to let your cute dog lick the spoon! The combination of raw bread dough and your pet's body heat can cause dough to rise inside the stomach, resulting in vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating. The batter used in cakes and pies also usually contains raw eggs which could contain salmonella bacteria and that may lead to food poisoning. Again, humans shouldn’t lick the spoon, and neither should your dog!

Fat trimmings or very fatty foods – You might think it would be good to give your dog some fat leftovers, but it’s not! Rich, fatty foods such as turkey skin and dark turkey meat are difficult to digest and can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs and, in extreme cases, pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).
** Note: Symptoms of pancreatitis include loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea and fever. If you suspect your dog has eaten holiday dinner meat or fat trimmings and showing signs of having these symptoms - seek help from your veterinarian immediately!

Nutmeg - Nutmeg is an aromatic spice that’s used a lot around the holidays. Nutmeg can be found in sweet potato and yam recipes and, of course, in pumpkin pie! It has mild hallucinogenic properties that when ingested by your dog can cause seizures, tremors and central nervous system problems. In severe cases, shock and death have been reported. Again, the pumpkin in DogGestive Daily or plain canned pumpkin is good for your dog! In fact, it helps your dog’s digestive system! Just don’t give your dog canned pumpkin pie filling or a piece of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.

Onion and Garlic - These ingredients contain sulfides, which are toxic to animals and can cause the destruction of red blood cells, especially in cats. This could lead to Heinz body anemia in cats, so don’t feed onion and garlic to your feline!

Sage – This herb, along with many others, contains essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression in pets - especially cats. Be careful that your cat doesn’t get into any sage or other herbs.

Raisins and Grapes - These are a choking hazard to pets and the ingestion of either can cause significant kidney damage. I know our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel loves to chase after a grape if we accidentally drop one, but we don’t let him get it because they really are dangerous!

Walnuts and Macadamia Nuts - These can cause weakness, depression, coordination problems, and tremors. In addition, the high fat levels of these nuts may cause pancreatitis in dogs, resulting in severe vomiting and diarrhea. Please be careful not to drop any nuts when baking so your pet doesn’t ingest them.

Chocolate - Chocolate can be toxic for pets, or even fatal, due to a substance called theobromine found in chocolate. This chemical stays in a dog’s system longer than it does in humans and is toxic to both dogs and cats, though cats rarely eat chocolate. No amount of chocolate is good for your dog! Dark chocolate and baking chocolate are especially dangerous. After eating a potentially toxic amount of chocolate, dogs usually begin vomiting and having diarrhea. Again, if you suspect your pet has eaten chocolate, contact your vet immediately!

Mushrooms - Mushrooms can produce damage to a number of internal organs, including kidneys, liver, and the central nervous system. If a dog eats mushrooms, seizures, coma, vomiting and even death can occur. Keep these away from your pet!

Beer - Alcohol, especially the hops in beer, can be particularly harmful to dogs, causing intoxication, panting, fever, racing heart and liver damage. Drinking too much alcohol is deadly for both humans and pets. You can enjoy holiday alcoholic beverages in moderation, but stick with water when it comes to your dog!

DogGestive Daily, the healthy pumpkin treat for dogs and cats.

Chewing Gum and Candy - Many gums and candies contain Xylitol, an artificial sweetener that can cause a severe drop in blood glucose in dogs. Did you know that as quickly as 30 minutes after ingestion, dogs can begin to show signs of depression, loss of coordination and seizures? Xylitol may also lead to delayed onset damage to the liver occurring days to weeks after ingestion. Xylitol toxicity in pets can be fatal. If your dog eats gum or candy, call your veterinarian right away!

The best way to keep your dog safe is to have plenty of pet food on hand as well as pet treats. Resist the urge to give your dog table scraps or people food. They don’t need it! Also, ask your holiday guests to refrain from giving your dog any “treats” from the table.

Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving from all of us at DogGestive Daily!