Thanksgiving is here, which means delicious treats, a few days off work and cozy food coma time with family and friends. But for pet owners, it also means many health questions regarding what food is safe while celebrating with their fur babies.
With all the hustle and bustle surrounding Turkey Day, it poses even more stress and health hazards for cats and dogs. To ensure your pet stays safe, happy and healthy this Thanksgiving, we answered some of the most pressing concerns about this time of year, including what table scraps are toxic, and sometimes even deadly, to your pet.
Read on to learn what foods your animal can enjoy with you and what common Thanksgiving items could cause serious health problems for your pet. That way, both you and your furry friend can fully enjoy Thanksgiving without any emergency vet visits.
Can my pet eat turkey?
Yes, pets can eat turkey under certain conditions. You can offer your pet a small amount of unseasoned turkey without the skin, but only if you know turkey agrees with your pet’s digestive system. It is important not to give your pet turkey from the Thanksgiving table because the fatty skin of the bird and the seasonings can lead to your pet having gastrointestinal trouble. Make sure any turkey you offer your pet has the bones removed. Bones can lead to choking, and, if swallowed, bones can cause obstructions in your pet’s GI tract, which could require surgery.
Can my pet eat stuffing?
No. Pets can’t eat Thanksgiving stuffing. While bread isn’t especially harmful to pets, other stuffing ingredients can cause serious problems. Onions, grapes and raisins are toxic to pets, especially dogs. Additionally, the rich flavors and ingredients in stuffing may disagree with your pet’s system.
Can my pet eat pumpkin pie?
No, your pet can’t eat pumpkin pie — but your pet can still enjoy pumpkin with you. If your dog or cat seems especially interested in pumpkin, try feeding them plain, canned pumpkin. Not only is this a delicious treat, but it also aids in digestion.
Can my pet eat sweet potatoes?
Like turkey, your dog or cat can enjoy sweet potatoes cooked and prepared plain. The sweet potatoes covered in marshmallows and spice should be saved for humans only because the ingredients could easily upset your pet’s stomach.
What other dangerous and toxic foods should I be aware of for pets?
Chocolate, as many know, is toxic to dogs. Keep all baking chocolate and any sweets with chocolate well out of your pet’s reach. Xylitol, an artificial sweetener sometimes used in baking, is also toxic to pets. Try to avoid using this sweetener in your Thanksgiving cooking.
Are there any other Thanksgiving hazards I should know about?
Make sure all your decorations are pet-proof. This is especially important regarding flowers. Lilies are extremely toxic to cats, causing kidney failure, and should be removed from any arrangements. Avoid decorations with ribbons or other small parts that could be easily swallowed. While these adornments may look pretty, they can cause serious obstructions if your pet chooses to eat them.
What is an easy way to protect my pet on Thanksgiving?
Create a safe and quiet space for your pet. The sights, sounds and new faces of Thanksgiving can be fun, but they can also be overwhelming. Having an area where your pet can be at peace, surrounded by their favorite toys and treats, will keep everyone happy. Also, inform your guests before their arrival not to feed your pet any table scraps. While it can be hard to say no to puppy eyes, it’s in your pet’s best interest if the Thanksgiving feast stays on the table.
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