Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

The Dos and Don’ts of Thanksgiving Table Scraps

While you want your furry friends to partake in this season’s festivities, inviting them to the holiday table can have a negative effect on both their health and behavior. Remember, pets don’t know that it’s Thanksgiving – or even a special occasion. So you don’t want to start encouraging undesirable behavior by feeding them at the table. (This is the perfect time to work on “place”or down-stay training.) And always do your research before feeding pets anything new –many hidden ingredients can cause serious harm.

NEVER give pets:

  • Alcohol can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing and mobile impairment.
  • Onions, garlic, leeks and chives – or anything in the onion family – can create gastrointestinal irritation.
  • Raisins, grapes and nuts can lead to kidney failure.
  • Cooked bones are a choking hazard and can splinter and cause internal damage.
  • Chocolate is one of the most common causes of dog poisoning – the darker the chocolate, the more lethal.

If you really want to feed your pets a special plate for Thanksgiving dinner, consider finding a special recipe just for them. The simpler the food, the better.

OK to give pets:

  • Lean turkey (no turkey fat or bones!)
  • Raw green beans, carrots and pumpkin (no seasoning!)
  • Mashed potatoes (no gravy!)
  • Plain 100% pumpkin (not in pie!)
  • Plain yams
  • Apple without seeds
  • Peanut butter
  • Cooked Oatmeal
  • Fish without spices (like salmon)
  • Yogurt
  • Honey (just a bit)

Put these tasty treats in their usual food bowls or use as a them as a reward away from the dinner table. If you enjoy cooking for your pet, you can find healthy, homemade treat or food recipes online.  Finally, always ask holiday guests not to feed your pets or you’ll have no idea what or how much your pet’s been eating!

Follow these tips for a happy and healthy holiday season. You – and your pets – will be thankful you did.