Thanksgiving is just days away! While the coronavirus pandemic still rages, keeping many of us from seeing loved ones this holiday season, we’re feeling especially grateful for the companionship of our four-legged family members. As you plan your intimate Thanksgiving Day feast, be sure to include your furry friend in the festivities!
But first, a word of caution. The holiday season tends to coincide with an increase in visits to the vet as dogs may be fed unsafe human foods, or overindulge on the feast (just like their owners!) If you’re planning to let Fido enjoy some Thanksgiving treats of his own, here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your pet’s Thanksgiving doesn’t end with a trip to the emergency vet.
What not to feed your dog on Thanksgiving
- Skip the bones. If you’re tempted to toss the turkey bones to your dog while you’re carving the bird, don’t. Turkey bones can cause damage to your dog’s digestive tract. Be sure to keep the bones out of reach, especially if your pet is able to reach the table or counter.
- Don’t feed raw meat. Raw or undercooked turkey may contain salmonella bacteria, so be sure the turkey is well cooked to an internal temp of 165° F before you or your dog enjoy a bite of meat.
- No bread dough. Raw yeast bread dough is also dangerous for animals. If your dog or cat eats raw dough, the yeast causes a release of carbon dioxide gas and alcohol, which can lead to a drunken, bloated pet. This condition can be life-threatening for animals.
- Keep Fido’s nose out of the cake. As you’ve likely heard, sugar, raw eggs and chocolate can be harmful for dogs. Be sure to keep sweet treats, including the batter, away from your pets.
- Use caution with artificial sweeteners. Sugar substitutes can make your Thanksgiving meal a bit healthier for humans, but those artificial sweeteners can be extremely dangerous for dogs. If you’re baking with a sweetener that contains Xylitol, use caution and be sure your dog doesn’t get even a taste.
- Avoid onions, scallions, garlic and seasonings. While these ingredients make human foods extra delicious, they should be avoided in anything you plan to serve your pet. As you’re cooking, set aside some cuts of meat and vegetables for your pet before adding seasoning or butter.
How to make a healthy Thanksgiving feast for your dog
While there are several foods and ingredients that can make your pet sick, there are plenty of fall favorites that are both delicious and safe for your dog to enjoy this Thanksgiving.
- Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of dietary fiber and vitamins for your dog. Just be sure they don’t contain any added ingredients.
- Boiled or baked potatoes with no butter, sour cream, salt or pepper can be a delicious treat for your pet.
- Apples are another rich source of vitamins for dogs, but first be sure to cut out the core as apple seeds can be toxic for dogs.
- Turkey with no bones or skin. It’s also important to be sure your dog doesn’t get turkey with seasonings, so be sure to remove the skin before feeding turkey to your pet.
- Green beans contain fiber, vitamins and manganese which are all healthy for dogs. As with other dishes, be sure they are served plain.
- Peas are also good for dogs, but avoid creamed peas that contain added fat that could upset your dogs stomach.
- Pumpkin is a healthy snack or treat for dogs and is good for their skin and coat. If you’re feeding canned pumpkin, be sure it isn’t a spiced pie blend.
Be sure to keep any full trash bags out of reach of your dog as well, as the smell of discarded foods may be too tempting for your dog to avoid. If your pet does get into something or eat something they shouldn’t, err on the side of caution and contact the Pet Poison Hotline or your local vet for good measure.
The Evolution Dog Wash team wishes you and your furry friends a safe and happy Thanksgiving!