With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, we at Valet Vet thought it would be nice to list the parts of the family meal that you can share with your pets.
Disclaimer: Per the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society, feeding dogs large quantities of a new food, as well as fatty foods such as turkey gravy, mashed potatoes with butter, and dressing, can cause pancreatitis. This potentially deadly inflammation of the pancreas produces severe symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
Cooked turkey, duck, chicken, and other bird bones are also extremely dangerous to dogs. Cooked bones splinter and break easily, possibly causing sharp pieces to tear the intestines. A bone might pass by itself, but more often it becomes lodged in the dog’s throat which could cause choking, or it could possibly cause an intestinal obstruction.
Here are a few healthy Thanksgiving choices for the whole family:
White meat turkey
Cooked turkey is safe for your dog or cat!
Turkey, like chicken, is a wonderful lean protein.
Be sure to remove any excess skin or fat, and make sure there are no bones.
Plain or sweet potatoes, baked or mashed
Orange sweet potatoes are packed with beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, potassium, fiber, and many other much-needed nutrients.
Feed your pup raw or dried pieces of sweet potato too.
Steamed carrots, broccoli, or string beans without any butter, sauce, or seasoning
Green beans are high in fiber and vitamins C and K. Great raw too.
Dogs love carrots because they are sweet. Raw carrots are a dog’s best friend thanks to their satisfying crunch, and frozen carrots are a great way to cool off.
Fresh vegetables are a great addition to any diet.
Low sodium chicken broth
Mix with your dog or cat’s regular food for a holiday taste sensation.
Sliced raw apples
There’s nothing more American than apple pie! Slip your pup some sliced apples before you sweeten the pie filling.
For an easy apple dog treat recipe, freeze cubed apples and plain yogurt in an ice cube tray.
We found two great recipes to keep your dogs busy during the holiday meal. They are also wonderful ways to use up some of the left overs! Be sure to call us if you have any specific questions.
Dog-friendly Thanksgiving Meal
Makes: nine 1 cup servings
3 lbs. cooked skinless turkey pieces (light and dark meat)
1 cup oatmeal (cooked)
1 lb. sweet potatoes, baked and cubed
2 tbsp. cranberry sauce
4 tbsp. turkey gravy (optional; to reduce the fat content, omit the gravy or substitute olive oil)
Mix together the turkey meat, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce. If using gravy or oil, add it now and mix thoroughly. Divide into 9 small containers. Great to freeze and reheat all winter long!
Three Ingredient Holiday Dog Treats
1/2 cup peanut butter (make sure xylitol is NOT an ingredient)
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1-2 cups flour (any type will work)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. Stir together peanut butter and pumpkin. Add in the flour 1/4 cup at a time until dough is no longer sticky.
3. Roll the dough flat between two sheets of parchment paper to 1/4″ thick. Use your favorite cookie cutter to cut out the dough into treats, then place on the prepared pan.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container or freeze for up to 3 months.