Hey, hoomans! George here to talk about one of my all-time favorite things: FOOD! Huge hounds love food. It keeps us big and strong. That means holidays with food are our favorites, too, and one of the biggest of the year is just around the corner.

Thanksgiving means the house will be filled with delicious smells and tons of food. Mozart will be hiding under the table, praying someone will drop something or sneak some food his way. Feeding the dog during dinner, or scraping the leftovers into our bowls, can be tempting. Trust us; we want it! The problem is, some of that food can be dangerous for us.

Before you slip us a sly snack, be sure you know what we should and shouldn’t have.

Artificial Sweeteners

Overall, sweets are bad for us, especially anything containing chocolate. If someone in your family has started a diet or is battling a disease like diabetes, the desserts they bring could be even more dangerous for us than the usual sweet treats. Xylitol, one of the most popular artificial sweeteners, is absolutely toxic for dogs.

Some artificial sweeteners may not lead to death or illness (at least not right away), but they’re not exactly good for us either. In fact, while there’s not enough research to say specifically which sweeteners can cause damage, there’s evidence that dogs can have bad reactions to a lot of them.

To be safe, just don’t feed us desserts. And keep them out of the way so we can’t treat ourselves when you’re not looking.

Turkey Skin, Gravy, and Bones

Overall, turkey is okay to feed to dogs, but you do want to be sparing with it. The way you eat turkey and the way we can eat turkey are really two different things. You likely use salt, butter, and other dangerous thing to make that turkey taste good. When you feed us the turkey, or more specifically, the skin, we could get upset tummies from the fats. Gravy is no good for us for the same reason. In really bad cases—such as lots of fatty foods over time—we could develop pancreatitis.

Bones are a bad idea, too. I mean, we love bones! But poultry bones are more likely to splinter when we chew them, which can cause tearing in our esophagus. If we do manage to get it swallowed, the bone could eventually cause blockages in our digestive system. Best to just throw them out, as sad as that makes me to say.

Onions, Garlic, and Raisins

A lot of the food on the table would be safe enough for us, if not for the seasonings you use to make it taste so good. For instance, that dressing or stuffing. Oh, my, isn’t it delicious? There’s a good chance there’s a lot of onion and maybe even garlic or raisins in there to make sure your mouth waters when you smell it. You probably also used onion in your green bean casserole and maybe a bit of garlic in the mashed potatoes—which we couldn’t have anyway because of the copious amounts of butter you’re probably going to add.

Before you let us dig into the leftovers, make sure you didn’t use onions or garlic. We might not show any reaction to them aside from an upset stomach, but onions and garlic can damage the membranes to our red blood cells. Over time, we could develop anemia.

Raisins or grapes are a big no-no. They can cause an immediate reaction that could lead to our death.

This sounds like a big downer, doesn’t it? We dogs get all excited about the food at Thanksgiving, and then we can’t have any of it. Well, the good news is, there are actually a few things we can have, as long as you’re careful.

Pumpkin (But not much. It gets our, uh, bowels moving.)

As long as there are no additions to the pumpkin, like sweeteners or other spices, raw pumpkin is safe for dogs.

Sweet Potatoes

Make sure they’re raw or dried. No sugary additions or canned sweet potatoes, and we can eat to our hearts’ content on sweet potatoes. Definitely don’t give us the sweet potato casserole, though! Marshmallows have that dangerous xylitol in them, and the casserole might, too.

Green Beans

If you didn’t use onion, garlic, lots of salt, or other dangerous additives to make them, green beans are safe in our food bowls.


Without a lot of butter and salt, carrots are a safe treat for us. We can have them boiled, baked, or raw.


Grapes and raisins may be a big nope, but believe it or not, we can eat cranberries! Now, bear in mind that cranberry sauce probably isn’t wise, since it may have added sugars or the dreaded xylitol. Fresh cranberries and dried cranberries are just fine in reasonable amounts, though.

It’s a lot to remember, I know! But with all of this info in mind, everyone in the family can enjoy a delicious, safe Thanksgiving—even the huge hounds hiding under the table.

Hey, you may not get to join us at the family Thanksgiving dinner, but we can still hang out. Join our private Facebook group to see photos, chat with us, and learn more about living with huge hounds. Expect big things!