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Thanksgiving and Your Pet

Published on November 21st, 2016

The holidays are a time to indulge and be with your family-including your pets! However, there are some things you will want to consider when sharing any “human” food with your pets during Thanksgiving. Know which foods your pet can and can’t have so you’ll be ready for when they come begging for the Thanksgiving scraps!

The Big Three

For many families, Thanksgiving dinner will include turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. Fortunately for your pet, all three are okay for them to eat in small portions! With turkey, you will want to remove any excess skin, fat, or bones, and you will want to stick with white meat only. For mashed potatoes, remember what other ingredients you mixed with them. If you typically put any cheese, sour cream, butter, onion, or gravy with your mashed potatoes, do not feed them to your pet. Instead, set aside a very small portion of “safe” mashed potatoes for your pet. Cranberry sauce is typically fine; just make sure it is a small portion because of the sugar that is in the dish. Also make sure it does not contain Xylitol, which is toxic to pets.

Foods To Avoid

Chocolate and alcohol are common around the holidays, and there is nothing wrong with enjoying them-if you are a human. For pets, it is extremely unsafe for them to have any amount of either! Additionally, foods such as grapes, garlic, and scallions are no-no’s for your cat or dog. In general, any human food in large quantities, even safe foods, is discouraged for your pet.

Remember the Recipe

One last rule is to keep in mind the “hidden” unsafe foods. Many times, we don’t fully think about the ingredients in each dish, and while the food, such as potatoes, is fine, the additional ingredients are not. For example, with fruit cake, you would think it would be safe for your pet to have a bite, but many have liquor in the recipe. The same goes for anything with baking chocolate, green bean casserole, anything with Xylitol, and more.

In general, it is always better to give your pets their actual food over human food. However, if you really want to give them a “human food” treat, stick with items such as turkey, mashed potatoes, etc. If you are unsure about an item of food, then do not give it to your pet, but have some pet treats around to give them instead!


Courtesy of: Pet MD


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