Thanksgiving is a time to gather with loved ones, share favorite memories, and feast on holiday foods. As a pet owner, it’s only natural to want to include your furry, four-legged family member in the festivities!
That being said, no one wants to spend their holiday (or any day, really) worrying about their pet’s well-being. It’s no coincidence that the week surrounding Thanksgiving tends to be a time of increased emergency vet visits. While some portions of your holiday feast may be appropriate to share with Fido, it’s important to understand which Thanksgiving foods are safe for your pet, and which ones are not.
No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without the token turkey! Fortunately, your dog is also able to partake in this part of the meal. Just make sure that the turkey on Fido’s plate is plain, boneless, and well-cooked.
Keep the parts that are doused in butter, gravy, and seasonings to yourself, as these can give your dog Thanksgiving tummy troubles. Cooked bones are also off-limits, as they could crack and splinter, leading to choking or internal damage.
Plain bread is fine to share with your pup, but be aware of the carbohydrates. If your doggo is already packing on a few extra pounds, you may want to avoid feeding him any dinner rolls.
If you do decide to share some bread with your pooch, be sure it’s not slathered in butter or other potentially harmful ingredients. Additionally, don’t allow your dog access to raw bread dough, as the yeast can lead to harmful bloating.
Fortunately, this fall favorite offers a variety of nutritional benefits to dogs—especially when it comes to digestive health. Pumpkin is full of fiber, Vitamins A & C, potassium, iron, and antioxidants.
When feeding your dog pumpkin, keep it steamed, mashed, or canned, as raw pumpkin can be difficult for dogs to digest. If canned, make sure it’s plain pumpkin and not pumpkin pie mix! Those extra sugars and spices are not exactly nice when it comes to your dog’s health.
Cranberries are fine to share with your dog, as long as they’re plain. They can be cooked, dried, or raw, depending on your pup’s preferences. In addition to being safe for your dog, they also offer nutritional benefits including immune and bladder support.
Avoid feeding your dog any cranberry dishes with added ingredients such as sugar and alcohol. Unfortunately, this means no cranberry sauce for your canine.
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Foods to Avoid
While there are some Thanksgiving foods that are safe for your dog to eat in certain capacities, there are others that are best avoided altogether.
Foods to keep away from your dog include:
Fatty foods such as butter, gravy, fatty meat drippings, and mashed potatoes with butter and milk
Cranberry dishes or salads containing grapes or raisins
Alcohol—keep those drinks out of reach!
Stuffing, as it typically contains heavy seasoning and toxic-to-dog ingredients such as onions and garlic.
Desserts. Keep sweets away from your pooch, especially those containing chocolate.
- Anything that may be found in the trash such as corn cobs, bones, or dangerous thrown-out leftovers. Remember to keep the lids on your trash cans; if your pooch is especially curious, it may be best to toss your trash somewhere your dog can’t access, such as in the garage.
Don’t forget to inform your dinner guests that they shouldn’t be sharing their potentially dangerous food with Fido!
In addition to food safety, you’ll want to take some extra precautions to ensure your pup is safely enjoying the party, whether you’re hosting or traveling together.
Having guests over can be a fun and exciting experience for your dog, but it also has the potential to be a stressful, overwhelming experience (especially if Fido is used to a relatively quiet lifestyle). If you’re planning to have people over, make sure that your dog has easy access to a quiet safe space, whether it’s a calming crate or an empty room.
Keep an eye on your exits, too. With people streaming in and out of the house, there’s always a chance that your dog could bolt—especially if he’s escaping as a result of anxiety. Keep doors closed whenever possible, and secure your dog if you’re worried that he might try to explore the outdoors on his own.
As an added precaution, make sure your dog has a collar with an ID tag containing your contact information. Even better, make sure he’s microchipped too, and that all of his info is up to date. In order to ensure safety this holiday season, it’s best to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
If your pup is prone to feeling overwhelmed in unfamiliar situations, try Pet Honesty’s Premium Hemp Calming Chews. This tasty blend of natural ingredients works to temporarily calm a dog’s demeanor and reduce anxiety and stress.