Sharing Holidays Safely: Pet-Friendly Thanksgiving Foods
As Thanksgiving approaches, many pet owners find themselves counting their pets among all they have to be thankful for. For many, the love, companionship, and camaraderie we share with our pets make them a part of our family. Because of this, it’s only natural that we should want to share our Thanksgiving feast with our four-legged family members. And thankfully, we can if we know about pet-friendly Thanksgiving foods.
Foods You Can Share With Your Pet
Much of the traditional Thanksgiving meal is safe to share with our cats and dogs. As long as the following foods are served in moderation and are not covered with seasoning, butter, or sugar, your pet’s Thanksgiving menu can safely include the following people foods:
- Turkey (as long as it’s fully cooked, de-boned, and not seasoned)
- Mashed potatoes (without butter)
- Sweet potatoes and yams (as long as they are plain)
- Green beans
- Cranberry sauce (without any xylitol or added sugar)
Foods to Avoid Sharing With Your Pet
You may notice that stuffing isn’t on that list. That’s because alliums, such as onions, garlic, leeks, and scallions, are toxic Thanksgiving foods for dogs. Likewise, sage (a primary herb found in most stuffing) can be dangerous for cats. If you are unsure of ingredients in any of the food on your table, you should err on the side of caution.
Another thing for all pets to avoid are foods sweetened with Xylitol, which is poisonous to cats and potentially fatal to dogs. This can be found in a number of products, so please check labels prior to serving your pets any store-bought foods, especially those claiming to be “sugar-free.”
Alcohol is very dangerous for animals, so avoid giving your cat or dog any food that might contain some like desserts.
Animals are also prone to food-borne illnesses brought on by eating raw or undercooked meats, poultry, fish, or eggs. To that end, uncooked bread dough should not be fed to pets either. Yeast can rise in your pet’s stomach, which can lead to serious internal distress or an untimely emergency.
Walking It Off: Exercise With Your Pet
Like us, pets may want to sleep the rest of the post-feast day away. But please, do your best to resist the temptation. After a rich meal, it will do both you and your pet good to get out and go for a walk around the neighborhood. Not only will you and your pet’s waistline thank you for it, but it will give your pet a chance to digest his or her special meal in a healthy way.
Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at Elmhurst Animal Care Center!
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