Be Prepared When Your Pet Comes Begging
With the holidays approaching, your dog or cat will inevitably be begging to partake in the big turkey dinner. While this can be a wonderful way to add lean protein and fresh veggies to your pet’s diet, there are also hidden dangers in holiday fare. This year, before preparing a heaping plateful for your pet, consider these tips to keep Thanksgiving a safe, healthful holiday for your dog or cat.
SHARE (in moderation)
White Meat Turkey
Turkey can be a wonderful lean protein to share with your pet. Just be sure to remove any excess skin or fat, stick with white meat, and make sure there are no bones.
Cranberry sauce is just fine for pets but watch the amount of sugar in it. It is probably best to only provide a small helping to your pet’s plate.
Good for both diarrhea and constipation, canned pumpkin (not raw, not the sugary, spicy pie filling) is loaded with fiber and beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A.
Plain Yams & Sweet Potatoes
Great source of vitamin B6 and vitamin C for your pup! A good tip is to set aside some cooked sweet potatoes before you add any salt or butter (or marshmallows!) to them, and save those for the dog.
Mashed or Baked Potatoes
Regular potatoes, while not quite as nutritious as the sweet variety, are also a safe and yummy treat. Again, set aside your pets serving of potatoes before adding butter, garlic, gravy, cheese, etc.
Carrots & Green Beans
Plain green beans are a wonderful treat for pets. Fresh vegetables are a great addition to any diet. If the green beans are included in a green bean casserole though, be conscious of the other ingredients in it.
Apples (minus the seeds) are also a great, crunchy treat for dogs. Applesauce is also an acceptable treat for dogs, but stick to the unsweetened variety.
DO NOT SHARE (toxic to pets)
Turkey bones can become lodged in the throat, stomach, or intestinal tract or break into splinters, causing extensive damage to the stomach and gastro-intestinal tract if swallowed, even puncturing the small intestines.
Flavor enhancers can cause all kinds of problems! Seizures, death, stomach discomfort, anemia and even death. Onions, garlic, sage and nutmeg are some of the common seasonings we use during the holidays and these are some of the biggest offenders!
Never give your dog walnuts, pecans or macadamia nuts! All three are extremely poisonous for pups (a toxin in macadamias can lead to tremors and hind-quarter paralysis).
Many people are unaware that grapes, and subsequently raisins, can be toxic to pets. The fruit has been shown to cause kidney failure in dogs.
Chewing Gum and Candy
Many contain Xylitol, an artificial sweetener that can cause a severe drop in blood glucose in dogs. As soon as 30 minutes after ingestion, dogs can begin to show signs of depression, loss of coordination, and seizures.
A well-known off limits indulgence for pets. During the holidays, however, chocolate is used in recipes and sometimes forgotten about by the time the dishes hit the table. Make sure this holiday season that your pet does not ingest any chocolate, especially the baking kind.
Alcohol, especially the hops in beer, can be particularly harmful to dogs, causing intoxication, panting, fever, racing heart, liver damage, even coma, seizures and death.
Dough and Cake Batter
The combination of raw bread dough and the pet’s body heat can cause the dough to rise inside the stomach, resulting in vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating. The batter used in cakes and pies usually contains raw eggs which could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.
Exercise your dog before guests arrive. A tired dog is less likely to misbehave and look for mischief! If your dog is full of energy, he will be more likely to be underfoot while you are preparing for the feast and entertaining your guests. HappyTails Pet Sitters are available on Thanksgiving Day and would love to help make your holidays less stressful! Book today!
Want to let your fur kid indulge in all the glorious leftovers without the guilt?
Check out this recipe for Turkey Pumpkin treats! PS – it’s cat friendly too.
- 6 ounces white turkey meat
- ½ cup cooked carrots/potatoes/pumpkin
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup ground oatmeal (or substitute whole grain, rice, or pea flour)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Blend turkey, cranberries, and carrots in a food processor until smooth, then mix in ground oatmeal. Roll into ½-1 inch balls and cook on a baking sheet for 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the treats.