Your guests won’t be your only loved ones looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner. The smell of those human food mouth-watering dishes like turkey, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie will likely pique your pup’s interest.
While we love to treat our pets to some table scraps (or even their own plate), not all holiday dishes are something to be thankful for. Some of our favorite foods can cause upset stomachs or more harmful consequences in canines. Check out which dog-friendly ingredients they can feast on and which to keep out of reach.
Meats: Shredded Turkey and Ham
Whether you’re fixing a plate particular for your dog or they’re sitting under the Thanksgiving table hopeful for a fallen bite, you can rest assured that white turkey meat is safe. Turkey is a lean protein.
The healthiest part comes from the middle of the bird, where there is less fat, salt, and other spices. Turkey’s skin becomes high in fat and sodium from butter and seasonings, which can cause your dog to feel sick. And keep in mind that dark turkey meat is fattier than light.
Also, do not feed your pet the turkey bones! Turkey bones can splinter, scratch gums, and are a choking hazard that can become stuck in their throats.
Ham is not toxic to pets, but it’s not good for them either. It contains a lot of fat, sodium, nitrates, and preservatives. It’s not the healthiest protein for humans either.
Salty foods can lead to excessive thirst, urination, diarrhea, and vomiting. And excessive consumption of sodium or fat can lead to more severe consequences for your doggo, including kidney damage, pancreatitis, seizures, coma, and death.
Vegetables: Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans, and Carrots
Your dog may be keener to eat vegetables than your kids. You can serve your pup these sides plain – without oil or spices – fresh, steamed, or boiled. Just put some aside before mixing in the extras for your guests.
Sweet potatoes are one of the most nutritious Thanksgiving treats. They are high in fiber, rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene, and contain essential vitamins like A, B6, and C. Sweet potatoes are a healthier alternative to regular potatoes.
Green beans and carrots are low-calorie vegetables. Veterinarians consider them a healthy treat. Make sure to cut whole green beans and carrots into smaller pieces to reduce the chance of choking.
Green beans are rich in minerals like iron and calcium as well as Vitamins A, B6, C, and K. Carrots are an excellent source of fiber, potassium, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin C.
Other dog-safe vegetables include plain:
- Butternut squash
Is your dog diabetic? Opt for green over orange vegetables, as carrots and sweet potatoes have more sugar.
Fruits: Cranberries and Apples
If you are making cranberry sauce or apple pie from scratch, keep some plain fruit as a sweet treat for your dog. Cranberries have antioxidants and are full of Vitamins A, B1, B2, and C.
However, cranberry sauce (particularly from a can) and apple pie have too much sugar for canines. Some premade sauces include currants, grapes, and raisins, which are some of the common food poisons for dogs.
Fruits that are safe for canines include:
- Blueberries and strawberries
- Seedless watermelon
- Peeled bananas
Some fruits, like raspberries and oranges, are okay for canines to eat in moderation. However, do not feed your pup processed fruit products, such as fruit snacks or pie fillers, as additional ingredients may be toxic or unhealthy.
The Onion Family
Onions and related stinky vegetables can cause more than bad breath. All parts of chives, shallots, leeks, and garlic are toxic to dogs. They contain N-propyl disulfide that breaks down red blood cells and can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and anemia in canines.
Handing your pet an onion seems easy to avoid, but you might be unaware of them sneaking into other dishes. Members of the onion family are often in the following:
- Anything with onion powder seasoning
- Casseroles made with onion soup mix
- Gravy flavored with garlic
- Mashed potatoes with shallots
- Green beans with caramelized onions
Pumpkin Pie and Other Desserts
While pumpkin is a great natural remedy for your dog’s upset stomach, pumpkin pie has too much sugar and other harmful ingredients, including nutmeg. The spice can agitate and upset their nervous system.
Only give your pup plain pumpkin or cooked pumpkin puree. Canned pumpkin pie filling can contain spices, sugar, and other additives.
Likewise, other sweet treats for humans can be toxic for pets. Chocolate and certain sugar-free baked goods contain artificial sweeteners like Xylitol. You can find Xylitol in cakes, muffins, nut butters, and diabetic-friendly foods.
Tips for a Safe Holiday
The fats, oils, and spices that make Thanksgiving dishes delicious can cause serious problems for your pets. The easiest way to avoid food troubles is to not give your dog anything directly from the table. Instead, make your furry companions a separate plate of plain food. They will be grateful for the taste minus the tummy troubles.
Do you have children that love to feed Fido? Too much of even safe foods can cause digestion issues. A separate plate can also prevent them from overfeeding your pooch.
Avoid fatty foods and ingredients, including macadamia nuts and walnuts. Nuts are toxic to dogs and can induce elevated heart rates, fevers, vomiting, and tremors.
Don’t give your dog anything that could make you sick. For instance, cookie and bread dough contains raw eggs, which can have Salmonella.
Thanksgiving spices that can be unsafe for dogs:
- Onion powder
- Cocoa powder
Spices that are safe for dogs
Like other holidays, Thanksgiving is a prime time for accidents and emergency trips to doctors and vets. The noise and commotion of extra people in the house can make pets anxious or agitated if they are not used to it.
Reduce the risk of injuries to you and your pets by keeping them out of the kitchen. Hot ovens, boiling pots, and knives left on the counter can easily cause injuries with extra paws around. A stumble could send hot food or oil in the wrong direction, and even an old hound can become a race dog when there’s something yummy on the floor!
For a totally safe and nutritious treat, give your pooch our Soft-Baked, Grain-Free Pumpkin Doggie Beer Bones! They are high in fiber, and the brewer’s yeast and pumpkin can be a digestive aid after a hearty Thanksgiving feast.