Not long now and I’m sure your Thanksgiving preparations are well underway!
This is a special time to spend with our family and friends and I’m sure for all you fellow dog-lovers out there, that includes the four-pawed variety too!
So why not treat your furry friends by giving them their own Thanksgiving meal? It’s super simple –NO EXTRA WORK and an ideal way to include them in the holiday festivities!
Here’s a list of favorite Thanksgiving foods that are safe to share with your canine companions.
But please note, it’s very important that you exercise constraint on behalf of your pooch. Thanksgiving food is very rich and dogs don’t do portion control – given the chance they would easily gobble up their own meal then all the leftovers too! Unfortunately, that could easily end up with a visit to the doggie ER – not where you want to spend your holiday!
I always serve my dogs these meals on a ‘human’ plate (specially reserved for their use), so they know it’s a special occasion and makes it easy to get food proportions correct. The basic rule of thumb for a dog’s meal is: 10% carbs, 50% vegetables and 40% protein (about 1oz of protein per 10 pounds of dog).
10 THANKSGIVING FOODS THAT ARE SAFE FOR FIDO
No salt or seasoning to be added
- Turkey – White turkey is one of the best protein-packed foods for dogs to eat and they love it!
CARE: Please be aware that other parts of the turkey are not so safe. Avoid the brown meat as that is richer and definitely don’t feed them turkey skin – too much rich, fatty food can cause gastrointestinal issues and can lead to pancreatitis, an inflammatory disease of your dog’s pancreas.
Another big no-no is turkey bones; these can easily splinter and get stuck, causing an obstruction in their throat or intestines, or tear their stomach, causing internal bleeding.
- Mashed Potatoes – Plain mashed potatoes are absolutely fine for your dog, as long as you hold the butter, sour cream, garlic and onion. So, set aside a pooch portion before you load up on the flavor additions for the humans.
- Sweet Potatoes – This sweet orange-colored root vegetable (often mis-labeled as the sweeter, nutritionally inferior yam) is a Thanksgiving staple, but typically served baked with marshmallows which are an absolute no-no for your dog. That’s because they contain large amounts of sugar and very likely the artificial sweetener xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. However, you won’t want them to miss out on this superfood, as it’s packed with beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, potassium and fiber, so, instead, serve them a plain sweet potato mash (not the canned mix!), or small raw cubes.
- Carrots– These are also loaded with beta-carotene, vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. Raw carrots are a real favorite with dogs and great for their teeth, but cooked (unseasoned) carrots are also a tasty treat.
- Green Beans – Green beans are high in fiber and vitamins C and K, but your dog should only have the steamed or raw versions. Definitely keep them away from the creamy casserole version with mushrooms and onions added, which are toxic to dogs.
- Corn – Give your pooch a few kernels of corn if you want to give them an energy boost to keep them from snoozing through the festivities!
- Cranberries – These provide a tasty dose of vitamin C and antioxidants, but some dogs may turn their nose up at plain cranberries. Just be cautious and serve your dog the smallest amount, if yours is the jellied or sauce version, due to the sugar content. NEVER give them types that contain alcohol or xylitol (the artificial sweetener), which are BOTH TOXIC to dogs.
- Stuffing – There are so many normal ingredients included in this traditional tasty accompaniment, that are simply bad for your dog’s health (or even toxic!), that it’s probably best just to leave it out altogether on your pooch’s plate. The ingredients you’d have to exclude from the recipe are onions, garlic, strong herbs such as sage, raisins/sultanas and dripping.
- Bread and Rolls – These are another staple on the Thanksgiving table, but probably not required! These are packed with carbs, so no nutritional benefit to feeding your dog bread or rolls.
CARE: If you’re making your own, please keep your pooch away from the raw dough (or any yeast related food), as this can be deadly for dog.
- Apples – Apple Pie is a legendary part of any Thanksgiving menu, but too sugar-laden for your pooch. Instead, set aside some raw apple slices or mix cubed apples with plain yogurt then freeze in ice cube trays – both healthy treats to serve as doggie dessert!
I hope you and your furry friends enjoy sharing this special meal together as much as we do. It’s always great to see your dog happy and we’d love to see them too!
Don’t forget to share a photo of your pup tucking into their Thanksgiving food on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FidoActive/ and put a smile on all our faces!
Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team