Thanksgiving dinner: the once-a-year feast full of mouthwatering turkey, cranberry sauce, rolls, stuffing, and other goodies. Our four-legged family members are just as enticed by the smells of a holiday meal as we are, drawn to the table by their foraging instinct in hopes of scoring some delicious scraps.
A PetMD poll indicates we are more than happy to oblige them, with 56 percent of their readers admitting to sharing bits of the big meal with their pup. But be careful: the wrong Thanksgiving treat can mean a trip to the emergency room for your beloved pooch. Here are some tips to ensure you are giving thanks for the good things in life – and not your talented vet – on Thanksgiving Day.
NO BONES ABOUT IT. The turkey carcass may seem like the perfect treat for your well-behaved pooch but beware: cooked bones can splinter, causing choking, gum damage, or intestinal issues. Bag the carcass and drop it in your sealed garbage can outside to prevent unwanted kitchen explorations.
GOBBLING TURKEY? CHOOSE THE RIGHT PARTS FOR YOUR PUP. If your dog is lucky enough to enjoy its own serving of this excellent lean protein, use a moderate portion of the white meat (it’s easier to digest than dark). Cut it into small pieces, being sure to remove the fat, skin, and bones. You can also prepare a small helping of the giblets, including the gizzard, liver, and heart.
THINK PLAIN FOR HEALTHY TREATS. Your dog can still enjoy some of the same Thanksgiving foods we do. Green beans make for a fun snack but keep the casserole for humans and serve them plain for your pup. Turkey broth also makes a dog-friendly substitute for fatty gravy, which can cause an upset stomach.
HUMAN FAVORITES CAN BE BAD FOR DOGS. Humans and dogs share certain symptoms of overindulgence, including an upset stomach. But even small amounts of many holiday foods have dangerous consequences for our canine companions, from vomiting and diarrhea to worse. The following foods are best for human-only consumption: stuffing, gravy, bread dough, garlic, onions, leeks, chives, nuts, sage, sour cream, butter, grapes, raisins, cranberry sauce, chocolate, artificial sweeteners like xylitol, alcohol, and caffeine.
EDUCATE FAMILY AND FRIENDS ABOUT SHARING FOOD WITH YOUR PUP. It may be hard for your guests to resist your dog’s cute face when the holiday spirit is flowing (and who can blame them?) Be sure to inform them what’s off limits in advance in case they want to slip your irresistible canine companion some table scraps.
Thanksgiving is a holiday that everyone in the family can enjoy – including your dog. Follow these tips to make sure everyone indulges and celebrates safely.
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