It’s that time of year again: get ready to express gratitude for all of the wonderful things in your life, including your furry friend! Though you may be eager to include your dog in the festivities, read our safety tips before sharing your leftovers. According to the American Kennel Club, there is usually an uptick in vet visits around the holidays, so make sure to double check that the food is safe for your dog.
Skip Skin and Bones
Your dog can eat turkey, so long as you avoid the skin and bones. When chewing bones, it’s possible for your dog to ingest bone fragments which can cause serious trauma to their digestive system. The skin of the turkey is typically loaded with plenty of seasonings and has a high fat content which can cause stomach irritation.
Fruits and Vegetables
Potatoes, pumpkin, green beans, sweet potatoes and peas are all safe (and healthy) choices, so long as you keep them plain. Apples are a great choice as well, but cut around the core since the seeds are toxic. Make sure there are no added ingredients, such as butter, sugar, sour cream or seasonings as these can cause an upset stomach.
Serve in Moderation
As a general rule of thumb, it’s recommended that treats should not comprise more than 10% of your dog’s caloric intake, so keep this in mind when adding Thanksgiving leftovers to your dog’s meal. Calorie counts are typically provided on the food labels in kcals. Consult your veterinarian for help if you are not sure about the right portion sizes.
Use Doggie Bowls
Don’t give your dog the wrong idea by feeding them your leftovers directly from your plate, especially if they are begging. Feeding them in response to begging will reward and reinforce their bad behavior. Instead, add a small amount of the Thanksgiving food as a topping to their usual meal.
Tip: Keep the main meal on the table and out of reach so your dog can’t accidentally ingest harmful foods.
If you think your pet has eaten something harmful, don’t wait to take action. Get help right away by calling your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Hotline.