Animals have the cutest faces in the world, so it’s no wonder that we all like to sneak them food off our plates every once in a while. But with some Thanksgiving dishes that could be a very dangerous impulse.
According to the New York Post, the day after Thanksgiving is extra busy for vets and emergency hospitals. As Erin Sawyer, chief medical officer and co-founder of the dog training app GoodPup, states, “Black Friday is known in both veterinary clinics and emergency hospitals as a notoriously busy day for all sorts of gastrointestinal issues in dogs.”
She adds that it’s best not to allow guests to feed your pets. And it’s best to keep animals away from the food altogether.
For those of you who will probably cave and sneak your furry friends scraps anyway, here are some guidelines, according to Embrace Pet Insurance’s website:
Turkey: A big question around the holidays is, “Can my dog have turkey?” But there are conditions: you can’t include gravy, spices or any other fixings. Cooked white meat turkey cut into tiny pieces (so your dog won’t gulp it down quite so fast) and mixed with their food is great. Avoid the fatty parts of meat (generally the dark meat) and do not feed them the seasoned skin. Seasonings can cause gastrointestinal upsets, as can the fat under the skin. And do not let them checw on bones either. Cooked poultry bones are sharp, will shatter when crunched, and are dangerous to his mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines.
Green Beans: When you’re preparing the ingredients for the traditional green bean casserole, set aside some of the green beans. Cook them, chop them up, and set them aside for your dog. As with the turkey, mix some in with your dog’s food. They are great nutrition and most dogs enjoy them. Don’t share some of the casserole as the other ingredients can cause a belly ache. Just share plain green beans.
Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are a wonderfully nutritious food. As you cut them up for their own traditional dish, set aside a few chopped pieces and cook them by themselves either in the microwave or in another pan in the oven. Cooked until soft, these pieces can be hand-fed as a treat or mixed in with the dog food. Their sweet taste is appealing to almost all dogs. As with the green beans though, don’t give your dog a scoop of the finished dish. Not only do some marshmallows contain xylitol, which is a sweetener that is deadly to dogs, but all of the other ingredients can also cause gastrointestinal upset. We’ll repeat that: actual sweet potatoes are ok. Any extra flavorings can be dangerous or lethal.
Pumpkin: If you roast those sweet potato pieces, roast some pumpkin pieces too. However, do not feed your dog pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie filling has too many seasonings and sweeteners to give your dog; however, cooked raw pumpkin with no seasonings is a great treat. Although many dogs will take a raw piece of pumpkin and chew on it like a bone (which is fine, by the way) roasting the pumpkin brings out its sweetness. To summarize: pumpkins are good, pumpkin pie is not.
Carrots: Another food your dog can share is carrots, raw or cooked, chopped or grated, given alone or mixed in with dog food. Your dog may also enjoy a slice of apple before you make the pie.
Let’s reiterate what you should avoid giving your dog:
Turkey Bones – Like we mentioned before, turkey bones can be chewed on and then splinter. This can lead to mouth, throat, and gastrointestinal injuries. Better to let your dog chew on hisher toys- not the wishbone.
Fatty Proteins – Meats that are high in fat, such as ham or dark meat (turkey) can cause vomiting and diarrhea. In some instances, heavy intake of high-fat foods can also lead to pancreatitis.
Foods Containing Xylitol – Many mass-produced sweets contain xylitol. This sugar substitute if often fatal to dogs, even in small doses. If you have a counter-surfer, keep everything that could contain xylitol far from the edge. Or keep your dog restricted to another room without access to the kitchen. And if you do that, don’t forget to check on your dog.
Chocolate – Chocolate can be deadly to dogs. Keep it far out of reach!
Mashed Potatoes – Plain potatoes may be OK for your pup; however, most hosts will put heavy amounts of butter, milk, garlic, onion….the list goes on. If the mashed potatoes at your dinner are packed full of seasoning it can lead to an upset stomach and the clean-up that goes with it. With many safe, healthy foods that your dog can eat listed above, avoid giving him anything else. That’s the easiest way to handle it as so many foods can be a problem. So tell the kids, visiting family members, and everyone else that they are not to feed the dog at all. Nothing. Let them know that you’ve provided some Thanksgiving treats.
Raisins and grapes – They are often lethal for dogs.