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Can Dogs Eat Stuffing? Vet-Reviewed Facts & FAQ

Written by: Kit Copson

Last Updated on May 6, 2024 by Dogster Team

Can Dogs Eat Stuffing

Can Dogs Eat Stuffing? Vet-Reviewed Facts & FAQ


Dr. Amanda Charles Photo


Dr. Amanda Charles

BVSc MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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If Christmas or Thanksgiving is just around the corner, you may be wondering if you can slip your dog the odd bit of stuffing under the table as a special treat. Unfortunately, though a ball of stuffing may look and smell like the perfect doggy treat, stuffing is actually not safe for dogs. It may give them an upset tummy or, even worse,can cause toxicity and serious conditions like pancreatitis.

In this post, we’ll explain why it’s unwise to offer stuffing to your dog and give you a heads-up on other festive foods that can make dogs sick.


Is Stuffing Toxic to Dogs?

Yes, stuffing is toxic to dogs because it contains garlic and onions. Both of these ingredients, which come from the allium family, can cause toxicity in dogs, as can leeks, chives, and shallots. This happens because they contain thiosulfate, which, in dogs, can cause red blood cell damage. This results in a condition called hemolytic anemia.

No part of any of these food items is safe for dogs, and it doesn’t matter if they’re raw or cooked, either—they could all cause some pretty nasty effects, including vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, lethargy, dehydration, abdominal pain, pale gums, appetite loss, breathing difficulties, and panting. The urine may take on a reddish tint.

The more garlic or onion the dog consumed, the more severe the effects are likely to be. Consequences range from a stomach upset to life threatening anemia.

In addition to onion and garlic, stuffing is salt heavy and typically high in fat. Fatty foods like this have the potential to cause pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas. Signs include vomiting, abdominal pain, lethargy, dehydration, and a lack of appetite.

dog vomits white bile
Image By: suchinan, Shutterstock

My Dog Ate Stuffing, What Should I Do?

If your dog ate only a little bit of stuffing, this might not be enough to cause serious side effects, but it’s still best to get on the phone with your vet, even if your dog isn’t displaying any symptoms. This way, you’ll have the peace of mind that a professional is aware of the situation and can advise you on what course of action, if any, is necessary, to take.

If your dog is displaying symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, or weakness, they need to be checked out by a vet straight away. Please contact your vet and do exactly what they tell you to do. In short—call your vet, no matter what. It’s always best to err on the side of caution with these things, especially as the signs of allium toxicity can sometimes be delayed.


Which Other Festive Foods Are Bad for Dogs?

Stuffing isn’t the only festive snack your dog shouldn’t be getting their chops around. Check out this list of potentially dangerous Thanksgiving or Christmas foods for dogs:

brown wooden spoon scooping mashed potato
Image By: Sergii Gnatiuk, Shutterstock

Mashed Potatoes

Who doesn’t love mashed potatoes? Understandably, your dog would love a bit of this creamy delight but avoid giving it to them. Mashed potatoes are full of butter, which could upset your dog’s stomach or even cause pancreatitis, as is the case with other fatty foods.


Gravy is very sodium-heavy and usually fatty. As we know, this is very hard on a dog’s stomach and, you guessed it, may lead to an inflamed pancreas.

Homemade gravy in a sauce dish with turkey for
Image By: Elena Veselova, Shutterstock


Thinking about tossing your dog that turkey bone? Think again. Cooked bones can splinter and injure your dog or get stuck in their digestive tract.

Fat & Meat Skin

These are incredibly unhealthy for your dog, especially given that they’re likely slathered in some kind of seasoning. In any case, these are just too fatty for dogs, seasoning or no seasoning, and should be avoided.

Suckling pig meat on a chopping board
Image By: cegoh, Pexels

Foods or Seasonings Containing Garlic

Whatever’s on the table, if it contains garlic, onions, chives, leeks, or shallots, it’s not safe for your dog. This could be meat dishes, casseroles, seasoned vegetables—pretty much anything cooked with a member of the allium family and/or butter, cream, and/or salt.


Fruitcake is typically made with raisins, and these are toxic to dogs. In addition to a stomach upset, they have the potential to cause kidney failure, as can grapes, currants, and sultanas.

Fruitcake on a plate
Image Credit: Prince Abid, Unsplash

Chocolate & Desserts

Sorry to be a killjoy once again, but chocolate is another food item that’s toxic to dogs. Furthermore, pretty much any kind of dessert that isn’t a piece of plain, dog-safe fruit (like banana or blueberries) is going to be too sugary for your dog.


Final Thoughts

We totally get the temptation to share your favorite festive snacks with your canine companion (especially when they’re giving you ‘the eyes’), but, with toxicity, anemia, pancreatitis, and kidney failure among the potential consequences of certain foods for dogs, we’re sure that any sensible dog parent would agree that it’s simply not worth the risk.

See Also:

Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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