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Posted on 11-25-2014

Thanksgiving Dinner and Pets

It’s tempting to spoil your furry friend with Thanksgiving dinner table scraps. After all, if that roasting turkey smells delicious to you, just think of how it smells to a dog or cat whose scent receptors are so much more sensitive than ours. But the wrong foods, or even too much of the right ones, can mean you and your pet will be making an emergency trip to the vet, and that’s nothing to be thankful for.

Dos and Don'ts for Your Pet at Thanksgiving Dinner

In their natural state, many Thanksgiving dinner foods are actually healthy pet snacks. In general, avoid cooked dishes that are high in fat or salt and stick with single-ingredient treats instead. Common Thanksgiving foods that may be toxic and should be completely avoided include:

  • Walnuts
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Raisins
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Fruit pits and seeds

Fresh, cooked turkey is a safe choice for sharing with pets. Do offer small portions of lean white meat, it’s healthier than dark meat. Never give your pet turkey bones. Shattered pieces of bone can cause injury inside the mouth or the intestines as they move through the digestive tract.

Do give pets fresh, unsweetened cranberries, but don’t feed them canned sauce or jelly which is loaded with sugar. Cats prone to urinary-tract infections may benefit from eating cranberries regularly.

Do share some raw or cooked green beans with your pet. But save the rich, salty casserole for the humans on your guest list.

Raw or cooked, pumpkin is another healthy, anytime treat you can feel good about feeding your pet. In fact, a spoonful of canned pumpkin at mealtime can help dogs who frequently suffer digestive upsets.

Do share a spoonful of cooked sweet potato with your pet before all the butter, sugar and marshmallows have been added. Slices of raw or dehydrated sweet potato are another natural food that makes a healthy treat any day of the year.

Lastly, don't overfeed your pet. Even healthy foods can cause upsets if the portions are too big. Please call our office is you have any questions about keeping your pet healthy this Thanksgiving.

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