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Can dogs eat Thanksgiving turkey?

Trimmings and other ingredients could be toxic to your four-legged friend.

If you think you're the only one who smells the ingredients simmering on Thanksgiving day, take a look at the four paws patrolling the kitchen.

As we get ready to carve the turkey and serve pumpkin pie, dog owners and visitors might feel tempted to feed the family dog a table scrap or two.

So, is it OK to feed the dog turkey?

Dogs can eat turkey and many other Thanksgiving foods, according to the American Kennel Club.

They can eat turkey as long as there is no attached skin, potatoes, sweet potatoes and peas. However, there are some ingredients your pup shouldn't ingest that might count out the sweet potatoes if there are plenty of additives. 

AKC says dogs shouldn't have turkey skins, stuffing and many of the side dishes most humans love on Thanksgiving day.

"These foods often have additional spices, butter and other ingredients that are too rich for dogs and can cause pancreatitis or other digestive ailments," the AKC says. "Onions and garlic, in particular, can be very toxic to dogs."

While dogs can enjoy plain sweet potato and plain pumpkin, experts advise owners to avoid feeding their dogs pumpkin pie. The pie filling could include Xylitol, which is toxic and could result in death for your pooch.

Here's a list of the dos and don'ts for dogs this upcoming holiday.

Don't feed dogs:

  • Turkey skins
  • Turkey bones
  • Turkey stuffing
  • Turkey gravy
  • Candy and gum
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Creamed peas
  • Sweet potatoes and yams with added ingredients
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Chocolate desserts
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Salads with raisins and grapes
  • Onions
  • Scallions

Do feed dogs:

  • Turkey meat without bones or skin
  • Plain cooked potatoes
  • Plain cooked sweet potatoes
  • Plain cooked pumpkin
  • Plain peas
  • A small amount of cheese
  • Carrots
  • Apples

Cats are not excluded either. For the most part, cats can also follow the same rules. While turkey is safe for both cats and dogs, cats are carnivores and will simply enjoy the meat by itself, Michelson Found Animals reports.

In the event that your dog ingests something that upsets their stomach, it's a good idea to have the local emergency veterinarian's office number handy or call the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661.

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