Dog (not in focus) licks itself and sitting in front of big tast

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 with plenty of fresh water, your pet’s Thanksgiving menu can safely include the following people foods:

  • Turkey (as long as it’s fully cooked and de-boned)
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes and yams
  • Green beans
  • Corn
  • Cranberry sauce

Foods to Avoid Sharing With Your Pet

You may notice that stuffing isn’t on that list. That’s because dogs should avoid alliums, such as onions, garlic, leeks, and scallions, at all cost. Likewise, sage (a primary herb found in most stuffing) can be dangerous for cats and care should be taken to minimize their intake of this herb.

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.”

Likewise, pets should avoid alcohol as well, including that which is found in fruitcakes and other desserts.

It should also be noted that, just like us, animals are 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, causing 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!