What Can You Feed Your Pets on Thanksgiving?
15 November, 2017
Autumn pet puppy dog and kitten cat together dressed up and wearing Fall pumpkin costumes for Thanksgiving and Halloween trick or treat

Thanksgiving is such a great holiday and tradition.  After all, we spend time with our families and the main focus of the day is food and eating!  However, when you have your beloved cats and dogs around who love to participate in the feast, you have to be careful.  There are many food items that they can nibble on and many that they shouldn’t.

Below is a list of the food items that are safe for our dogs and cats and which to avoid.  And, of course, everything in moderation.

Turkey:  very good in moderation and watch the bones.

A small amount of lean, light meat is OK to treat your pet, but stay away from skin, fat, and dark meat. Cooked bones are a definite no-go as they can splinter and cause choking or damage to your pet’s digestive system.

Turkey gravy: Not good for your pets

Gravy usually contains high amounts of fat which is not healthy for your pet. Fatty foods can cause gastrointestinal upset in your pet.

Mashed potatoes: a small amount of plain potatoes – without butter and cream.

Mashed potatoes that are prepared bland and light can be an okay snack, but if they are loaded with fat and salt, then it’s best to avoid feeding them.

Any mashed potatoes prepared with garlic, onions, scallions, or chives should definitely be kept away from pets as these foods are toxic to dogs and cats.

Stuffing: No stuffing for pets

Stuffing is made with onions, scallions or garlic. These ingredients are extremely toxic to dogs and cats and can cause a life-threatening anemia (destruction of the red blood cells). It’s best to avoid feeding any amount of stuffing to pets. With the added butter, stuffing is likely a fatty treat that your pet does not need.

Cranberry Sauce:  Too sugary

Plain cranberry sauce is usually quite high in sugar which pets just do not need in their diets. Others may contain raisins or grapes which are toxic to pets, so it’s best to keep the cranberry sauce away altogether.

Homemade Rolls:  A nibble of a roll is OK but raw dough is unhealthy

A bit of bread here or there is okay to toss to your pet, as long as there is no butter on it.  And raw dough should not be fed to your pets.  They can’t digest it.

Green Bean Casserole: Just the beans

Green beans are a great snack for cats and dogs. But, casseroles usually have onions and creamy mushroom soup which are unhealthy. Skip the casserole and stick to the beans when treating your pet.

Corn: just the corn, no cobs

While some pets may have corn allergies, others can manage munching a few cooked corn kernels just fine. Just be sure to keep the cobs away, as it can cause an obstruction if your dog or cat attempts to eat the entire cob.

Candied Sweet Potatoes/Yams: Avoid

Candied, sugary, buttery goodness does not offer any nutritional value to pets and is best not to be shared.

Pumpkin Pie, Apple Pie, Pecan Pie, or any desserts are bad for our pets.

It’s best to avoid sugary sweet desserts when sneaking food to pets under the table. A bite here or there won’t hurt them but chocolate will.  We all know that chocolate can be toxic to our pets.

Ham or pork (if you cook these) should not be eaten

Ham and other pork products can cause pancreatitis, upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea. Ham tends to be high in fat as well, which can lead to obesity in pets. Even a small amount of ham can contribute a very large amount of calories in a small dog or cat.

If you let your cats and dogs nibble on a few of the healthy items, everyone should have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving.  Remember to watch the trash cans too to make sure your dog or even cat doesn’t dive in for extras or bones or other harmful items!

Related articles:

Onion Toxicity in Dogs

Why  Is Chocolate Dangerous for Pets?

Human Food that is Safe For Dogs


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