Thanksgiving Meals for Pets

Thanksgiving Meals for Pets

Thanksgiving Meals for Pets

The Best and Worst (and a Tasty Recipe)

The weather is changing and calendar pages are flipping.  This month, Thanksgiving arrives bringing with it lots of yummy foods.  If you include your pet in the annual food-festivities there are Thanksgiving meals for pets that are delicious and nutritious. However, stop before you let your pup lick your plate clean.  Some foods can wreak havoc on a pet’s digestive system making them sick for days to come. Be aware of what foods are okay to feed them and what foods should be discarded.

This information is especially important if your pet is not accustomed to the delicacies of people-food.  Introducing new foods into your furry friend’s diet should be done with care.  Did you know that vets see a spike in visits after the holidays from pet owners who have fed their pets too many fatty foods which can cause a myriad of issues. Thanksgiving meals for pets can be a special experience for them when they are cooked with care.

Foods That You Can Feed Your Pets

Cooked Turkey

Feeding your pets thoroughly cooked, unseasoned turkey without the skin is a scrumptious Thanksgiving entree for you and your pets. Of course, removing the bones first is required.

Green Beans

Cooked or raw, green beans are a good vegetable for cats and dogs to snack on. If the green beans were in a green bean casserole, be wary that they may have been in contact with garlic or onions that could upset your pet’s stomach.

Yummy Yams / Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber as well as vitamin A and C. Your pup can eat sweet potatoes without any problem (except maybe a little gas)! However, it’s the ingredients in that sweet potato casserole that cause problems. The added sugar and marshmallows are a no-go for Fido. You can feed you pup raw sweet potatoes or you can even dry pieces for a great Thanksgiving snack.  Check out this easy recipe below:

DIY Sweet Potato Dog Chews

Ingredients:  One or two sweet potatoes

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees
  • Place parchment paper on one – two baking sheets (one sweet potato takes up about one baking sheet)
  • Cut sweet potatoes into 1/4 inch coins (slices that are too thin will be crunchy instead of chewy)
  • Arrange on baking sheets about 1/4 apart in equal rows
  • Bake for total of 2.5 – 3 hours
  • Flip each piece half-way through the baking time
  • Take out of oven and let cool (some will be chewy, some will be a little crispy)
  • Store in an air-tight container for up to 3 weeks

Foods to Avoid Giving to Your Pets

Undercooked Turkey and Turkey Skin

Feeding your canines and kitties undercooked meat could potentially lead to salmonella poisoning which can be fatal for some animals. Giving them fatty skin is also not okay especially since it has most likely been rubbed in herbs, garlic, onion, and salt. These ingredients can be toxic to most pets. Stay on the safer side and take the skin off before feeding to your pets. Bones will also create issues for your pets as they are a choking hazard. Be sure to remove those as well.

Sugary Cranberry Sauce or Cranberry Sauce With Raisins or Walnuts

Most canned cranberry sauces contain large amounts of sugar and corn syrup which is not good for pets. Before putting cranberry sauce in their bowl, check the ingredients carefully.  Did you know that raisins and grapes can affect your pup’s kidney? While it is unclear what toxic substance is included in this miniature treat, it is best to avoid giving them to pets.  In addition, walnuts and other particular nuts as well can also be problematic for your pets for various reasons.  You can read a more thorough explanation of nuts and your dog here.

Mashed Potatoes With Garlic or Onion Powder

Garlic or onions can make pets very sick. Even a powdered form of these ingredients is toxic to many animals. Be sure to check your ingredients before you pile their plates with potatoes.  Further, raw potatoes contain an ingredient called solanine. This compound is toxic to some dogs.  If you choose to give your pup potatoes this Thanksgiving, they should be baked or boiled with no additional ingredients.  

Yeast Rolls and Bread

We all love bread, despite all the carbs.  The same is true for you pup. However, dogs have no use for bread. Yeast rolls can be especially bad for dogs, as they can cause dangerous bloating and painful gas. It’s best to completely skip adding a dinner roll to your pup’s Thanksgiving meal.

Mac and Cheese

This one can go either way depending on who you consult.  It also depends on your individual pups tummy.  Typically, you’ll want to avoid giving too much mac and cheese to your pets. Dogs aren’t know for their ability to digest dairy products well. Too much can cause gas, vomiting, or diarrhea. Therefore, proceed with caution if you choose to give you pup a helping.  For cats, take precaution if they are lactose intolerant.  Adult cats will sometimes develop this problem.  It is a good idea to get them tested at the vet before the holidays if you want to share your plate.

Other General Tips About Thanksgiving Meals for Pets

  • Cook your pet’s Thanksgiving meals separately to ensure no unwanted ingredients are included
  • Do not let your pet overeat
  • Serve small portions
  • Introduce them to only one or two different foods. If you add in too many new foods, it could disrupt their digestive system. This is never fun for anyone.

When you’re having Thanksgiving meals with pets, be sure to keep an eye on what your pup is gobbling up!

For more information about Thanksgiving Meals for Pets or general questions you can contact:

Christi Phillips, CPDT with Posh Paws Pet Care, LLC


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