A Tail-Wagging Thanksgiving: Safe Foods for Your Furry Friend
As Thanksgiving approaches, the mouthwatering aroma of turkey, stuffing, and all the fixings fills our homes. While we indulge in this delicious holiday feast, it’s essential to ensure that our furry family members enjoy a safe and scrumptious Thanksgiving too. Just like us, dogs can join in the festivities with their own special meal, but it’s crucial to be aware of what is safe and healthy for them.
Turkey is a Thanksgiving staple, and your dog can partake in the turkey festivities too, but with some precautions. It’s best to offer your pup cooked, plain, and boneless turkey meat. Remove the skin, as it’s usually seasoned with spices or oils that might not agree with their stomach. Never serve cooked turkey bones to your dog, as they can splinter and pose a choking hazard. And, of course, ensure the turkey is fully cooked, as undercooked meat can cause health issues for both humans and dogs.
Paws Off the Potatoes
Mashed potatoes, often creamy and buttery, may seem like a tempting treat for your dog, but it’s best to keep them off the menu. Plain, boiled, or baked potatoes in small amounts are fine, but potatoes loaded with butter, milk, cheese, or garlic and onion seasonings are a no-go. Garlic and onions, often ingredients in Thanksgiving dishes, can be toxic to dogs, leading to serious health issues.
Many dogs enjoy some vegetables as a part of their diet. On Thanksgiving, consider offering your furry friend small portions of dog-friendly vegetables like green beans, sweet potatoes, or carrots. These vegetables can be a healthy and low-calorie addition to their meal, and most dogs find them quite tasty. Ensure that they are cooked and free from any seasoning or sauce that might upset your dog’s stomach.
Cranberries – In Moderation
Cranberry sauce is a Thanksgiving tradition, and while cranberries themselves can be a healthy addition to your dog’s diet, cranberry sauce is often packed with sugar, which is not ideal for your pet. If you’d like to give your dog a taste of cranberry, offer them a small amount of plain, unsweetened cranberries. Remember that too much of anything can upset your dog’s stomach, so moderation is key.
A Slice of Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin is known for its digestive benefits in dogs. Plain, canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) is a great addition to your dog’s Thanksgiving meal. A small serving can aid in digestion and even help with diarrhea. The fiber in pumpkin can be beneficial for your pup, so feel free to share a small spoonful of this nutrient-packed treat.
Dessert Can Be for Dogs Too
If you’re baking homemade dog-friendly treats, consider a little something sweet for your pup. There are many dog-safe dessert recipes online that incorporate ingredients like peanut butter, banana, or pumpkin. Just remember to offer these in moderation and avoid any sweeteners or additives that could be harmful to your dog.
When in Doubt, Ask Your Vet
Each dog is unique, and what’s safe for one might not be for another. Always consult with your veterinarian if you have any doubts about which foods are safe for your dog. They can offer guidance based on your pet’s specific needs and dietary restrictions.
This Thanksgiving, make it a pet-friendly feast by being mindful of what your dog can and cannot eat. With a little extra care, your furry friend can join in the holiday fun and enjoy a special meal that’s both safe and delicious.
Highly Toxic Human Foods for Dogs
Our beloved canine companions share our lives and our homes, and they’re often seen as part of the family. While it’s natural to want to share our food with them, it’s crucial to be aware that not all human foods are safe for dogs. In fact, some common items found in our kitchens can be highly toxic to our four-legged friends. To keep your furry friend safe, it’s essential to be knowledgeable about which foods to avoid.
One of the most well-known toxic foods for dogs is chocolate. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, stimulants that can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, seizures, and even death in dogs. Dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate have the highest levels of theobromine, making them particularly dangerous. While a small amount of milk chocolate may lead to mild symptoms, it’s best to avoid chocolate altogether when it comes to your pup.
2. Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins are another food group that can have dire consequences for dogs. Even small quantities of these fruits can lead to kidney failure. Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain. The exact substance in grapes and raisins that is toxic to dogs remains unidentified, so it’s safest to keep these snacks far out of reach.
3. Onions and Garlic
Onions and garlic contain compounds that can cause oxidative damage to a dog’s red blood cells, leading to a condition called hemolytic anemia. Even small amounts can be harmful over time, and in severe cases, they can be lethal. Keep an eye on your pet during meal prep, as these ingredients are often found in many savory dishes, including soups, stews, and sauces.
Xylitol is a sugar substitute often found in sugar-free gum, candies, and some baked goods. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden and dangerous increase in insulin, resulting in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Symptoms include vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and even liver failure. Be cautious and check product labels for this ingredient, as it’s not always obvious.
Alcohol, including beer, wine, and spirits, can have a potent and fast-acting toxic effect on dogs. Just a small amount can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, difficulty breathing, and, in severe cases, alcohol poisoning, which can be fatal. Be sure to keep alcoholic beverages well out of your pet’s reach during gatherings and celebrations.
6. Macadamia Nuts
While the exact toxic compound in macadamia nuts remains a mystery, even small amounts can lead to muscle tremors, weakness, and hind leg paralysis in dogs. Symptoms usually occur within 12 hours of ingestion. It’s best to steer clear of these nuts when offering snacks to your canine companion.
Avocado contains a substance called persin, which is primarily toxic to birds but can also be harmful to dogs. While the flesh of an avocado is less dangerous, the pit and skin contain higher levels of persin. Ingesting these parts can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.
8. Bones and Fat Trimmings
While it’s tempting to give your dog the leftover bones or fat trimmings from your meal, it’s not safe. Bones can splinter and cause choking or damage to the digestive tract, and fatty trimmings can lead to pancreatitis, a painful and potentially life-threatening condition.
Remember that every dog is different, and some may have stronger reactions to certain foods than others. If your pet ingests something toxic or shows any unusual symptoms, contact your veterinarian or an emergency animal hospital immediately. Being mindful of these highly toxic foods and keeping them out of your pet’s reach is an essential step in ensuring their safety and well-being.
Our House and Hound Care petsitters wish you a very happy Thanksgiving!