Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and while you’re battling the crowds at the grocery store and gearing up for the big feast, you’re likely to have a constant companion in the kitchen, your dog.
And who could blame them? All the smells wafting through the air…it’s a dog’s paradise!
I know you want to share the feast with your canine companion – and you can – but there are a few things you should know in order to do it safely, without the “turkey trots” from your furry little sous chef.
Safe Thanksgiving Foods Your Dog Can Eat
Many of the Thanksgiving foods you’re preparing can be safe for your dog, but they must be prepared in a safe way. Think of your dog like you would Aunt Martha who has a gluten allergy. You’ll be sure to respect her dietary restrictions, and you need to respect your pup’s dietary restrictions, too.
Unless your dog has food allergies, set aside a few of the following things for your dog to enjoy BEFORE you add butter, oil, and sugar:
Sweet potatoes, cooked and plain
Mashed potatoes, cooked and plain
Apples, raw or cooked, no seeds
Turkey meat, boneless, plain, no skin
Green beans, raw or cooked plain
Peas, raw or cooked, plain
Carrots, raw or cooked plain
Salmon, plain or smoked
Pumpkin, cooked or canned, unsweetened
Thanksgiving Foods Your Dog Shouldn’t Eat
Save these foods for the humans, no dogs allowed:
Turkey bones, skin, gravy, drippings
Chocolate and sweets
Raisins and grapes
Onions, scallions, shallots, garlic
Anything with alcohol
Bread dough (small amounts of baked bread are okay)
Your dog’s “dietary restrictions” for the big day should also include:
No rummaging through the trash – dogs can be resourceful, especially when your attention is turned to family and friends!
Over indulgence – you know the feeling!
What happens if your dog eats unsafe Thanksgiving foods?
Be as vigilant as you can. No one wants to add a trip to the emergency vet to their post-turkey agenda.
If your dog does happen to eat small amounts of food that you wanted to avoid, don’t panic. Keep an eye on your dog and watch for these signs of distress:
A tender, painful tummy
If your dog has any of these symptoms, better safe than sorry. Have your dog seen by a veterinarian.
Regular consumption of foods that aren’t good for dogs can lead to pancreatitis, liver failure, and neurologic issues…and other things no one would wish on our canine companions.
Educate everyone in the family about the foods that are toxic or problematic for your dog so that no one makes the mistake of slipping something under the table that will harm them.
That goes for everyday, not just during the holidays.
Want to skip the table scraps altogether and be on the safest side?
The safest way to allow your pooch to enjoy a holiday meal is to feed them species-specific food that is created just for them.
At The Healthy Animal Healing Center, we have a variety of delicious treats and foods you NEVER have to worry about! Your dog will get all the good Thanksgiving vibes with these Thanksgiving-ish foods:
The Honest Kitchen Grain Free Turkey Recipe dog food
Small Batch Dog Freeze Dried Turkey
Yumm Sticks Turkey Treats for Dogs
No Hide Turkey Recipe Dog Chews
Nugget’s Healthy Eats Turkey Bone Broth Jerky
K9 Granola Factory Turkey and Cranberry Biscuits
Polkadog Turkey and Cranberry Wonder Nuggets
Creating a Stress-less Thanksgiving for the Dog
Besides keeping an eye out for food dangers, there are other things you should do to keep your dog safe, relaxed, and healthy during the holidays.
If you’re traveling and bringing the dog along, be sure to ask ahead of time what the holiday agenda includes. That way you can prepare for how to handle activities that aren’t exactly dog friendly.
Here are a few things to ask about if you’re staying with friends or family:
Will there be other people, kids, or dogs coming over?
What are your rules for the dogs in the house – is the furniture a people-only space? Do you have a doggie door?
Are there any other animals in the house?
When away from home:
Bring something familiar along, like your dog’s bed and favorite toys.
Make a chill-out space, a safe retreat when things get too hectic. A crate with a treat-filled toy or puzzle is great for a little mental time-out.
Appoint a “designated dogger.” There’s so much activity, hustle and bustle, and catching up to do! Just like you’d do for a child, make sure there’s someone designated to keep a watchful eye on your pup while you’re enjoying the festivities.
Keep the routine. Does your doggo expect a morning and evening walk? Does a frozen Kong usually follow dinner? Keeping familiar routines will help your dog feel right at home.
Ensure some snuggle time. Holidays can be stressful for dogs, but they’re also stressful for people! A little one-on-one time carved out for you and your pooch might do you both good.
Make sure your microchip information is up to date. Should your doggo escape the festivities a little too vigorously, make sure that if they get away, YOU can be found. ID tags are nice, collars with your contact information sewn in or attached are better, and up-to-date microchips along with ID collars are best.
However you decide to enjoy your Thanksgiving, whether it’s a cozy night at home alone or gathering with friends, family, and dogs, make it a safe one.
Remember that dogs are sentient beings, with thoughts and feelings of their own. It’s your job as your dog’s companion to keep a watchful eye on how they eat, drink, and enjoy their holiday.