Thanksgiving Foods That Are Ok for Your Dog (and Ingredients That Aren’t)
This isn’t one of those posts that tell you never to feed your dog anything from the table. Thanksgiving is coming and lots of people enjoy making up a “plate” for their pup. Yet, some Thanksgiving foods can make your dog very sick, while others are ok and even have health benefits – as long as you feed them without added sugars.
The trick is knowing the difference and using caution (as well as a heaping dose of common sense) when giving your dog goodies from the table. As you know, much of the classic Thanksgiving foods are made with onions, sugar, or other ingredients hazardous to your dog’s health.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Feeding Your Dog from the Thanksgiving Table
Let’s start with the basics of a classic Thanksgiving plate laden with turkey, stuffing, yams, and pumpkin pie. It may be tasty, but there are a lot of ingredients that can make your dog sick in the final, cooked dishes.
Ingredients That Can Make Your Dog Ill:
- Onions and garlic (in stuffing)
- Turkey Fat – (can lead to painful pancreatitis)
- Cooked Bones (can shatter and puncture your pet’s throat or organs)
- Sugar (in cranberry sauce and desserts)
In addition, you’ll want to make sure your dog can’t access the trash. We’ve all heard of pups who’ve gotten into the garbage which resulted in a trip to the emergency vet. That’s no way to spend your Thanksgiving!
But in their natural form (i.e., no added sugar), there are ingredients of the Thanksgiving plate that can be beneficial for your dog in small amounts.
Think Ahead to Include Your Dog in the Thanksgiving Feast:
You can indulge your pup with a little taste of Thanksgiving goodies with pre-planning. For example, cranberries, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes are all healthy and good for your dog – in their natural state.
Each of these are chock full of healthy antioxidants which means they fight free range radicals, the irregular cell division that can cause cancer. Cranberries are also good for your pet’s teeth because they fight the bacteria in the mouth that can lead to gum disease. Cranberries also promote a healthy urinary tract. So, if you wanted to cook up a few cranberries without sugar, your dog can enjoy those.
Likewise, with sweet potatoes and pumpkin. These orange vegetables are important sources of vitamin A, potassium and fiber. However, again, if you’re serving them to your dog, go with the no sugar variety. Which means avoid canned pumpkin filling and anything with marshmallows.
What about the turkey? Most dogs can eat a little taste of lean turkey. But no turkey fat or bones. Cooked bones are notoriously dangerous for dogs because the cooking process makes them prone to shattering. Then, sharp points can cut delicate interiors.
Of course, any dog may be negatively affected by unfamiliar foods, so if you know your pet has a super-sensitive stomach, your best course of action would be to avoid any of this (though a small taste of cooked sweet potato may be ok.)
As always, every dog is different and it’s best to use your judgement when considering what to feed your dog. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!