Happy November! It’s every food lover’s favorite month and as the days start closing in on Thanksgiving, I think it’s safe to say that roasted turkey, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie are just a few of the delicious foods on everyone’s minds. Thanksgiving is all about gathering around the table with our friends and family, so it’s only appropriate that our pets are able to partake in the food festivities as well. Most of us are guilty of sneaking our pups table scraps or maybe even preparing them a little Thanksgiving meal of their own, but if you plan on sharing your Turkey Day feast with your four-legged friend, follow our guide below to ensure that the food you are sharing with your pup is safe and healthy for them!
Top 5 Dog-Friendly Foods
1. Turkey: Turkey is a delicious, lean protein that your pup will undoubtedly be thankful for if you decide to share some with them this Thanksgiving! If you do plan on giving your dog a portion of the turkey roast, double check that their piece is boneless, well-cooked, has no excess skin or fat, and that the seasonings used on the meat are safe for canine consumption.
2. Pumpkin: While man is a dog’s best friend, pumpkin might be a close second! Pumpkin is low in calories and a great source of fiber. This squash assists weight management and supports urinary and digestive health. However, as opposed to feeding your dog a slice of the pumpkin pie, we recommend that you opt for a scoop of pumpkin puree straight from the can.
3. Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are a delicious, filling, and nutrient-dense food choice for your canine companion. Plus, they are low in fat and high in fiber to help keep your pet’s digestive system regular. However, we suggest that you skip the marshmallow and brown sugar topping on your dog’s sweet potato portion.
4. Green Beans: Whether you walk on two legs or four, fresh vegetables are always a good and healthy choice! While green beans on their own are full of essential vitamins and minerals, they come most commonly served in a casserole on Thanksgiving Day so double check that the other casserole ingredients are dog-friendly before spooning out some for your pup.
5. Apples: An apple a day keeps the vet away! In addition to being a great source of essential vitamins and antioxidants, apples clean dogs’ teeth and freshen their breath. Before serving your favorite four-legged friend some apples, make sure to remove the core and seeds.
Top 5 Dog-Unfriendly Foods
1. Milk & Dairy: Say (no) cheese! Traditionally, our pets do not have enough lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose) in their systems to adequately digest dairy products. Therefore, consumption of milk and dairy can cause digestive upset and stomach issues in our furry friends.
2. Alliums (onions, garlic, leeks, scallions, etc.): While alliums add delicious flavor to our human foods (who else doubles the recommended amount of garlic in every recipe?!), when consumed in large quantities by our pets, alliums can cause gastrointestinal irritation and even toxic anemia which damages red blood cells.
3. Bread Dough: No Thanksgiving meal is complete without baked goods and pastries! Whether you’re whipping up homemade loaves or yeast rolls, there is a good chance that bread dough is going to be out and about in your kitchen come November 28th. Make sure to keep this dough inaccessible to your pup because if they consume it raw, it can rise in their stomach causing gas pains and bloat. Raw bread dough can also cause intoxication when consumed by our four-legged friends because of its by-product ethanol that converts sugars to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol during the rising process.
4. Nuts: Whether served as a casserole topping, salad garnish, or even just roasted for snacking on their own, nuts are found in a wide variety of Thanksgiving foods. While they add a delicious crunch and delectable flavor to our human foods, the high oil and fat content in nuts can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even pancreatitis if consumed by our pets. Be especially wary of almonds, pecans, and walnuts!
5. Grapes & Raisins: While not the most common food in Thanksgiving meals, it is also not the most commonly known fact that grapes and raisins are extremely dangerous for our pets to consume and can even cause kidney failure. Therefore, keep grapes and raisins well out of your furry friends’ reach this holiday season.