Thanksgiving treats your dog can eat!
For many of us, Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friends and indulge in an utter feast of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and a wide variety of other holiday favorites. We stuff our bellies full of yummy, wholesome goodness until we have to unbutton our pants and pass out on the couch from a food coma. This gluttonous tradition has been going on for centuries and for this reason, many people consider Thanksgiving to be their favorite holiday. So it is no surprise that so many people like to share the festivities with their dogs; after all, we do consider them a part of the family!
But is it safe to feed your dogs that same delectable goodies that we tend to overindulge in? Let's take a look at what you should and shouldn't give your dog this holiday season.
Safe and Healthy Thanksgiving Foods for your Dog
According to Gary Richter, MS, DVM author of The Ultimate Pet Health Guide: Breakthrough Nutrition and Integrative Care for Dogs and Cats, the list below contains a selection of healthy foods that are both safe and satisfying for your pets when given in small portions.
Turkey Meat (no bones or skin):
The main course at nearly every Thanksgiving dinner is not only tasty, but a great source of lean, healthy protein for your dog. It is important to make sure there are no bones in the meat, as these can splinter and cause harm to your dogs digestive tract according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Additionally, you'll want to avoid feeding your dogs any turkey skin as the fatty outer layer of the dish has more than likely been prepared with butter, spices, and seasonings that may be harmful or upset the stomach.
Dogs love sweet potatoes and sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and beta carotene for your dog. However, just be sure that you are giving your dog plain sweet potatoes and not the candied variety loaded with butter, brown sugar, and marshmallows that so many of us love!
Another great source of plant fiber for dogs, green beans are also packed with manganese, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. For the optimal nutritional value, raw green beans are far superior to canned of cooked green beans. But like the other items on this list, avoid feeding your dog green bean dishes that include other added ingredients or spices (green bean casserole is NOT a good option for your dog!).
Who doesn't love a big slice of pumpkin pie to finish off their Thanksgiving feast? While we don't recommend giving your dog pumpkin pie, pumpkin itself is a very healthy treat for dogs. It has many benefits for a dog's digestive health and is great for their skin and coat! If purchasing canned pumpkin for your dog, make sure that you are buying the plain pumpkin and not the pre-spiced pumpkin pie mix.
Foods You Should Avoid Giving Your Dog
Due to unsafe or unhealthy ingredients, you should NOT feed your dog any of the food from the list below no matter how much they beg for them!
• Turkey bones, skin, or gravy
• Mashed Potatoes
• Cookies, pies, or sweets (especially chocolate)
• Raisins or grapes
• Onions, scallions, garlic
• Creamed peas or corn
• Ham (or other fatty meats)
• Breads or dough (anything containing yeast)
• Foods containing spices
Additionally, make sure that you secure or remove the trash during Thanksgiving so that your dogs are not tempted into mischief by the aromatic smells of that which they can't have.
Should your dog get into any of these foods, please seek help right away. In the event of an emergency, contact the Pet Poison Hotline or your veterinarian's emergency line.
Now that you know what you can and cannot give your dogs for the holidays, you may safely prepare them a feast that they can enjoy with you and your family this Thanksgiving! So eat, sleep, and enjoy the holiday with your favorite furry companions!