Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. The family coming together, the football...ok who are we kidding, the food!! And at SitStay, we and our amazing customers treat our dogs like part of the family, because they are. So we want to make sure our dogs have a delicious and more importantly a safe Thanksgiving.
Every year all over America, hopeful dogs are hoping to get some of those yummy Thanksgiving table scraps or handouts. From turkey to cranberries and everything in between it's important to know what you can and cannot give your dog.
We've put together a list of the most popular items that make up the good, the bad and the dangerous items for your dog at Thanksgiving. We've also added healthy alternatives that we recommend more than these items.
You want to make sure a great day isn't turned into a visit to an emergency vet clinic.
ALL FATTY FOODS: Bad
A good rule of thumb is to not give the dog anything from the table. It's important to be careful because anything out of their ordinary diet can trigger dangerous gastrointestinal infections (GI) or pancreatitis. Fatty foods, the heart of any of traditional Thanksgiving meal can specifically trigger pancreatitis. Be aware of your dog. If they are vomiting, acting lethargic and / or experiencing abdominal pain could signal that there may be a problem.
TURKEY SKIN: Bad
Turkey skin is a high fatty food, and as previously stated could cause problems. But turkey skin is also dangerous because it can absorb spices, marinade, butter and oils that can also lead to pancreatitis. Keep turkey skin out of your dog's Thanksgiving diet.
Cooked or Uncooked, all poultry bones (chicken and turkey) are especially dangerous to dogs. Poultry bones can splinter and cause all sorts of extremely dangerous problems. Not only can they splinter and puncture the intestines or stomach, but they also can cause obstructions in the intestine which will mean that your dog will need emergency surgery. Surgery is a best case, a bone can splinter and block the airway causing death. It's imperative to dispose of your bones safely and appropriately.
Ever heard of "Macadamia Nut Toxosis"? Its a condition dogs can get when they eat macadamia nuts or walnuts, causing them to be unable to stand and inducing vomiting, tremors, fever, weakness and an elevated heart rate. This condition usually goes away but can lead to shock and even death. Keep dogs away from all nuts.
You'll hear that sweet potatoes or pumpkin are OK to serve your dog. But, stay far away if they are spiced with nutmeg. Nutmeg can cause a dog central nervous problems, seizures and in some cases can even cause death. If you're using this spice don't let your dog near the foods that contain nutmeg.
Dough can actually rise in your dogs stomach! Yikes. This can obviously cause abdominal pain. But dough can also contain raw eggs, which can contain harmful Salmonella. This is the same reason why you should not egg raw dough either.
BEWARE OF TURKEY NETS: Bad
While white turkey meat can be ok, the net that turkeys come wrapped in can cause trouble to your dog. Obviously you're not going to serve your dog a turkey net but if a dog gets into the trash they can ingest the netting which can cause an obstruction or blockage which can lead to surgery.
HIDE THE TRASHCAN: Bad
As we just described, the trashcan can be a real danger. Full of good smells (to a dog) they can explore the trash can and get in it. If they get into the trash we will have no idea what he or she may have consumed while we're busy cooking or entertaining.
KEEP THEM OUT OF THE KITCHEN: Bad
It's best just to keep your dog out of the kitchen. While we're running around trying to cook a million dishes, the dog may accidently get tangled in our feet and trip up the cook. A little stumble can spill hot grease or other hot dishes and leave a nasty burn on the dog and on us. Even if the food doesn't land on the pet directly, the dog is able to quickly scarf up the piping hot food and burn his mouth. If possible, keep the dog out of the kitchen.
WATCH THE COMMOTION: Bad
Family in and out of the house all day long can create quite a commotion, something different that what the dogs may be used to. If your dog has the kind of personality that they can get agitated with such craziness, do them a favor and find her a quiet place for her to be, so she doesn't get too scared.
Ok, enough of bad news...let's move on to the good fun stuff for your dog's Thanksgiving.
The Good Dog Thanksgiving:
SWEET POTATOES: Good
Don't let the “sweet” label fool you. Sweet potatoes are full of fiber, vitamins and carotenoids and are actually healthier than regular potatoes. If you want to share sweet potatoes with your dog, set some aside without any salt or butter on them. Sweet potatoes are good as long as they ARE PLAIN. We already reported that nutmeg is bad, but do not serve sweet potatoes with sugar and butter either. Plain sweet potatoes should be the only option for your dog. You can share a small can of sweet potatoes with your pup and give them their own version of Thanksgiving.
WHITE TURKEY MEAT: Good
Turkey has always been the main event of the Thanksgiving meal. Your dog can eat some lean, cooked white meat, just try not to go overboard. Keep them away from the fattier dark meat which can cause dangerous pancreatitis.
RAW CARROTS: Good
Fresh, raw carrots have always been an ideal snack for dogs. Dogs love the sweet taste and carrots are loaded with vitamins, fiber and potassium. Carrots can even be good for your dog’s dental health. They aid in removing plaque from teeth and help keep your pooch's breath fresh. Offer them served raw, before you add any butter or salt.
RAW GREEN BEANS: Good
Low in calories, raw green beans make another great healthy snack for your dog. Green beans are loaded with nutritious vitamins, minerals and fiber. Like carrots, offer them raw before they find their way into a green-bean casserole.
FRESH CRANBERRIES: Good
Full of vitamins A, B1, B2 and C, cranberries are great for dogs. In addition, they’re well-known for helping maintain healthy urinary tracts. On Thanksgiving, if you’re making cranberry sauce from scratch with fresh fruit, feel free to share. But Note: Do not give the canned cranberry sauce and jellied cranberry sauce to your dog, they are full of sugar and should not be given to pets.
FRESH PUMPKIN: Good
Pumpkin is good for dogs to eat not only because it’s low in calories and bursting with vitamins, beta carotene and fiber, but also because it helps with a dog’s digestion. Pumpkin is great if your dog is suffering from an upset stomach, diarrhea or constipation. If you’re using canned pumpkin for your pie, though, it’s better not to share it with your family dog. The processed stuff isn’t healthy for dogs like fresh pumpkin is.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS: Good
Brussels sprouts are rich in fiber and vitamins, and they also boast cancer-fighting properties that can benefit your dog. You can feed brussels sprouts to your pet as a snack raw or cooked, but make sure it does not contain salt, butter or any other dressing. Also Note: Offer them in moderation, too many brussels sprouts can lead to diarrhea.
That should be a big enough list to keep your dog both happy and safe at Thanksgiving. Be sure to sign up for our Good Dog Newsletter and get an instant discount!
Happy Thanksgiving to all of our amazing customers and their dogs!