Thanksgiving. A holiday best known for its abundance of deliciously prepared food and of course, the notion of sharing. While partaking in the holiday festivities can offer temptation to sneak a few treats to your pet, the majority of your Thanksgiving meal is not safe for any four-legged family member.
While you don’t have to rule out all items on the table when looking to indulge your pet, there are a number of safety precautions that need to be taken to ensure even pet-friendly food is being given in a safe manner.
- Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are not only a good source of fiber, but have high levels of Vitamin A and C. Dishes with large amounts of sugar, such as casseroles and pies, should not be fed to your pet. Stick to the plain version if you plant on sharing with them – whether baked or mashed.
- Turkey: Turkey is perfectly safe for pets if prepared properly. Make sure all bones are removed and that the meat is cooked all the way through. Remove the skin and any traces of fat, as they are hard for pets to digest and could lead to pancreatitis.
- Cooked vegetables: Carrots, peas and green beans are all safe when fed in moderation. Be sure to set aside any vegetables for your pet prior to mixing in butter and seasonings.
- Foods to avoid completely: Onion, cake, nuts (walnuts and macadamia), mushrooms and herbs like sage and nutmeg are all highly toxic. Be sure anything you are feeding your pet is not mixed with ingredients that could make them sick. It should go without saying – but chocolate and alcohol should be kept far away from your cat or dog at all times.
Even foods labeled safe for pets should be fed with caution. Every animal’s stomach tolerance is different. More often than not, owners don’t discover a pet’s food allergy until feeding a treat for the first time. Be smart when including your pet in holiday festivities – don’t let hungry eyes get the best of you!