Thanksgiving is the time for feasting and family, and guess who wants to be a part of the action? If you guessed your pup, you are absolutely correct. While our dogs can’t assist with the preparation of Thanksgiving dinner they sure want to try out a few of the foods that smell so good. So it is okay to let Fido sample the stuffing? Here are 5 things your dog can eat at Thanksgiving Dinner and 5 things they should not, and a few tips on keeping your pup safe this Turkey day.
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Turkey & Bones
Turkey is a yes, bones are a no.
Turkey is lean meat that your dog will love to sample. We recommend only giving Fido a small amount of Turkey and mixing the meat in with his normal dry food. This will be a wet treat that will encourage your pup to lick his chops after he’s cleaned his bowl. Avoid giving your dog pieces of turkey that have gravy, sauce or other human seasonings including fried skin.
Bones from human food are a choking hazard due to their small size and their brittle nature. If you want to give your pup a bone to gnaw on during Thanksgiving Dinner, give him a pet store-bought version that is designed to withstand being chewed on by the toughest jaws.
Veggies & Herbs
Veggies are a yes, herbs are a no.
Stick to the basic veggies including broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, green beans, and sweet potato. Make a special unseasoned and butter/oil-free version for your pup. Steamed veggies are a great way to go.
While some believe certain herbs and spices can be beneficial, there are several herbs that are known to be dangerous for dogs. As a general rule is best to limit or just avoid giving your pet food that is seasoned or heavily spiced. This may limit your options since most items at Thanksgiving dinner are just that. Consider making your pup a special pot of unseasoned doggy safe food.
Pumpkin & Pie
Pumpkin yes, Pie no
At the onset of fall, we discussed all of the wonderful benefits that pumpkin has to offer. These benefits still apply! But we advise keeping your pumpkin recipe dog-friendly so that your dog can enjoy the season’s fruit and the great benefits it provides. Here are a few pumpkin friendly recipes from our September edition.
While pumpkin goes with pretty much everything Fall related, it’s always best complimented as a pie, unfortunately, human pumpkin pie is off the menu for Fido. The sugars, butter, and flours used in traditional pumpkin pie aren’t good for your dog. But on the bright side that leaves more pie for you.
Treats & Table Scraps
Treats yes, Table scraps no
With your family in town, Fido may be in the mood to show off a few of the new tricks he’s learned with you with the hopes of earning a few extra doggie treats. As long as your dog is at a healthy normal weight don’t feel too bad about giving him an extra treat or two for good behavior around the guests. Treats are a great way to reinforce good actions and encourage continued good behavior.
Avoid letting your pup chow on table scraps. Children often don’t know better and will offer table scraps to pups. Keep an eye on your dog during dinner or just play it safe and crate your dog during dinner to ensure he isn’t acceptable under the table offers.
Fruit & Desserts
Apples yes, sugary dessert no
Apples are still in abundance, and most dogs love to eat apples. Apples are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, as well as fiber for your dog. They are low in protein and fat, making them the perfect snack for senior dogs. Don’t let the centerpiece apples just go to waste, just be sure to remove the skin, seeds, and core first.
Again, sugary desserts such as cakes, cobblers, tarts, crumbles, and pies are not approved for your dog. Enjoy your desserts but don’t share them with Fido.
There you have it the top five do’s and don’ts’s for your dog’s Thanksgiving feast. Remember that a crowded house, new faces, loud noises, and new smells can be a sensory overload for your dog. Here are a few tips on how to keep your pup feeling secure and loved this Thanksgiving
- Take her on a walk – The commotion of Thanksgiving Dinner doesn’t excuse the fact that your dog will expect to maintain her walk schedule. Set an alarm so you don’t forget to take your dog out for a potty break. Your dog will be thankful for the one on one time with you away from the crowded house.
- Use a crate if needed – If your dog is expressing signs of anxiety such as continuous or aggressive barking it may be best to separate her by using the crate. This can help to keep your guest and your pup safe. While it may seem harsh to crate your dog on Thanksgiving, it’s important to remember that the crate is not a place for punishment rather a space to create and maintain safe boundaries.
- Communicate expectations – You know your dog, but to your guest, your dog is a stranger. Set clear expectations with your guest about offering food to your pup and interaction with your dog to minimize unsafe situations. Your guest will gladly respect your wishes and your pup will be more comfortable as your guest respect her boundaries.