It’s that time of year again when we all come together to celebrate with family and friends. For many pet owners, that includes bringing our furry companions into the mix. But with so much food around, how can we make sure their Thanksgiving feast is safe and healthy? Here are a few tips to help prepare a pet-friendly Thanksgiving dinner. Happy holidays!
- Turkey — Many pets have their eyes on the prize: a turkey drumstick. But the tasty turkey leg can cause the most problems, from the skin to the bones. The higher fat content in dark meat and the fatty, seasoned skin can cause stomach upset and possibly pancreatitis in your pet. And the bones can splinter when crunched, piercing the gastrointestinal tract, or forming a blockage that requires emergency surgery. Instead of giving your pet a turkey leg to gnaw on, offer a few morsels of skinless, boneless, unseasoned turkey breast.
- Mashed sweet potatoes — Mashed potatoes loaded with butter, chives, garlic, and sour cream can lead to serious health issues. Topping buttery mashed potatoes with gravy can trigger a case of pancreatitis. At the same time, ingredients from the Allium family—chives, garlic, leeks, and onions—can cause red blood cell destruction and anemia. Swap out rich mashed potatoes for plain, mashed sweet potatoes, which are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Biscuits — Unbaked yeast dough left out to rise can cause stomach bloating, gastrointestinal obstruction, and alcohol poisoning, all of which can require emergency treatment, so give your pet a cooked biscuit treat to enjoy instead.
- Fruit — Many sweet treats contain ingredients that are toxic to pets, such as raisins, currants, chocolate, or xylitol. Offer your pet small bites of safe, fresh fruits, like apples, bananas, and berries, for a sweet snack instead.