By Megan Schneider, DVM
Want to include your pets in the Thanksgiving feasting? Read on to see what might (or might not) be safe for them to share!
1) Turkey – a small amount of cooked, white, meat turkey with skin removed makes a great tasting, low-calorie treat for pets on Turkey Day. Avoid sharing the darker meat, skin and gravy with them as the added fat can lead to tummy upset, or even pancreatitis
2) Mashed potatoes – due to large amount of butter, +/- some garlic or onions (both of which can be toxic to dogs and cats), mashed potatoes are better left on the table, but some dogs might enjoy a crunchy chunk of raw potato while you’re cooking.
3) Stuffing – another side dish best saved for the human guests at the dinner table. The garlic, onions and/or raisins in this dish can lead to possible anemia and kidney failure
4) Cranberries – this may not be Fluffy or Fido’s favorite part of the Thanksgiving feast, but if they wanted to try a little dollop of the sweet-tart topping, the cranberries are generally safe.
5) Pumpkin pie and whipped cream – all the extra sugar in the pie and the fat in the whipped cream can lead to some upset tummies if your pets indulge in these after-dinner treats. However, a little bit of canned pumpkin – without all the added sugar – can still be a little sweet treat at the end of the day.
Finally, it’s important to remember that while Thanksgiving dinner is a true meal for you and your family, for your pet these Thanksgiving goodies should just be an added treat to their regular balanced meal. Feeding them too much of any table food can lead to vomiting and diarrhea, so a little moderation can go a long way towards ensuring everyone enjoys a happy and healthy holiday!