Building Your Pet’s Thanksgiving Feast
Imagine this: it is Thanksgiving Day. The crisp autumn air is coming through an open window in an attempt to cool the warm kitchen. The smell of the roasting turkey mingles with the melody of the bubbling gravy. Is your mouth watering yet?
As you cook your Thanksgiving meal, salivating at just the idea of the feast, your four-legged family members may be salivating too. But, according to a recent study, 64 percent of U.S. pet parents say that their dog has chewed on or eaten something they shouldn’t have during a holiday celebration. This can be avoided by simply including your pet in the celebration.
Instead of trying to remember all of the things your pet should avoid, know that there are quite a few dishes your pet can enjoy this holiday season. Forget holiday table scraps, make your pet a plate and celebrate the season together. Below, I am breaking down which dishes to put on your pet’s Thanksgiving plate.
What Holiday Foods Are Safe For My Pet?
These foods are safe for your dogs in moderation, and when prepared with your pup in mind without a few traditional ingredients. Remember: small quantities of each approved dish are safest, and you can add a full spectrum hemp extract to your pet’s thanksgiving plate for an even better holiday.
Turkey is a normal ingredient in raw diets and can even be found in kibble (although I do not recommend ever feeding your pet kibble). Turkey itself is safe for dogs, but you should pay attention to what was used in preparing the turkey. Avoid giving your dog the skin, which is usually prepared with extra fat and butter. If your turkey was prepared with stuffing inside, make sure it does not have onions, as onions can be toxic to dogs. Additionally, make sure to avoid giving your pup any bones or trimmings. Bonus: After the holiday, you can turn your turkey carcass into a healthy bone broth for your pups!
Mashed potatoes are safe, but butter, sour cream, milk, and cheese may cause an upset tummy. While you are cooking, a tummy-safe option is to take some plain potatoes, before you add in the rest of the yummy ingredients, and mash them up for your dog so that they can enjoy the potatoes without all of the extras. Gravy should be avoided for your pup entirely.
Green beans are an excellent food for dogs. Green beans are a great source of plant fiber, manganese, and vitamins C and K. Unfortunately, most green bean casseroles are cooked with heavy cream and onions, making green bean casserole unsafe for dogs. While you are cooking, set aside some warm green beans (minus the salt, butter, and onions) for your pup’s plate and they can enjoy the benefits without the dangers of the casserole. Frozen green beans also make a great crunchy treat for your pup.
Sweet potatoes are an excellent addition to any dog’s diet – even when it is not a holiday. Sweet potatoes area great source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and beta-carotene, which altogether promote overall health. The trouble comes from the extra sugar in candied yams or marshmallows on sweet potato casserole, which can cause an upset tummy. A safer option is to boil or broil a few extra plain sweet potatoes to give to your pup.
Corn is perfectly safe for dogs in moderation. But, just like other casseroles, try to give your dog only the cooked corn and not corn casserole or corn pudding. Corn casserole often contains high amounts of butter, cream, salt, and occasionally onions – all of which can be harmful or cause upset tummy.
Cranberry sauce is okay in moderation but pay attention to how much sugar you are giving your pup on the holiday. However, your dog cannot eat cranberry sauce containing grapes, raisins, or currants because they are toxic to dogs.
Eggs are a healthy addition to every dog’s diet and contribute to a healthy coat. To keep your pup healthy and to avoid the extra salt, pepper, and mayonnaise in traditional deviled eggs, set aside a boiled egg to include on your pup’s holiday plate.
Pie is generally best to be avoided for pets because of the extra sugar and fat. However, pumpkins are healthy and good for dogs. Whether raw or cooked, set aside a few chunks of pumpkin for your pup’s dessert.
Foods to Avoid Sharing With Your Pet This Holiday
Stuffing, although delicious, often contains onions or leeks. These ingredients are toxic for dogs and can cause anemia, pancreatitis, and kidney failure. If you do want to make a pet-safe stuffing, avoid onions and leeks.
Ingredients to avoid:
- Bones of any kind or trimmings
- Any dish containing leeks, onions, scallions, or mushrooms can be harmful, as these are toxic to dogs in large amounts.
- Desserts made with artificial sweeteners, like xylitol or Sweet-n-Low
- Desserts that may contain chocolate