Everybody looks forward to Thanksgiving! Who doesn’t? It is the biggest and best meal of the year!
Family members prepare their tastiest holiday specialties and guests bring their special delicacies to share with everyone. Our tables overload with tasty and indulgent dishes, and our houses smell fantastic!
If you’re a dog owner, you must be very familiar with those demanding noses nudging up your laps or table. Together with those begging eyes, the four-legged members of our family seem to want to join the celebration. Of course, you feel guilty? You badly want to share the delicious food, but should you? For many reasons, you should not.
According to pet insurers, food-related dog illnesses rise yearly during Thanksgiving weekend. The reason behind it is because holiday meals can present a string of problems for your dogs. There is a lot of things they need to avoid, and some of them are not obvious.
Here’s what they need to avoid to keep your dogs safe this holiday season.
#1 Turkey Skin and Undercooked Meat
Feeding your dogs small chunks of white meat is fine. However, make sure toavoid giving your dog any turkey skin. You may not realize it, but it is heavily seasoned, and could be a fatal mistake. If the turkey has spent hours being rubbed and soaked in onion, sage, and garlic, the skin has been drowning in things that are most toxic to dogs and even cats. Also, salmonella is a real threat if you offer a piece of raw or undercooked meat to your pooch. Nope, just don’t do it.
#2 Cranberry Sauce
Fresh cranberries are fine for dogs. You will even find them as ingredients in some commercial pet foods. In fact, cranberries are known to fight urinary tract infections and contain a number of healthy vitamins. But when cranberries are turned into a holiday sauce, a lot of that healthy goodness is gone.
Canned cranberry sauces contain loads of sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Even homemade sauces are heavy on sugar. Homemade versions contain ingredients you might not know about that are bad for your dogs, such as raisins and certain nuts. Remember to be careful about any cranberry sauce you give to your pets.
#3 Green Bean Casserole
Regular green beans make a crunchy and healthy snack for your furry family member. But when they go into a flavorful Thanksgiving casserole, the problems begin. Common ingredients for green bean casserole include mushroom soup and a fried onion topping. Dogs should never eat those ingredients.
#4 Stuffing and Gravy
You may not know it but the ingredients that go into gravies and stuffing can be an abundance of toxicity for your furry friend. Most gravies have mushrooms, onions, sage, leeks, chives, garlic, scallions, pepper, or a variety of other ingredients. Most of these ingredients are toxic for dogs.While others won’t instantly kill them, they will make them very uncomfortable if eaten in excess.
#5 Bread Dough and Cake Batter
Do you know what happens to dough when it gets warm? Yep, it rises and you don’t want to happen inside the stomach of your beloved dog. It can cause vomiting and painful abdominal bloating. Bread dough and cake batter often contain raw eggs— which can carry salmonella.
#6 Mashed Potatoes
Potatoes are fine in moderation but when turned into a mashed potato, additional ingredients are added. If your dog is lactose intolerant, the milk and butter you’re adding can give them diarrhea and an upset stomach. Also, watch out for flavorings like garlic or onion since they can be toxic to dogs,even in powder form.
#7 Turkey Bones
This isn’t only applicable during this season, but it’s good to be reminded. Never feed your pooches cooked bones. They can cause vomiting or at worst, they splinter easily and can injure or even puncture your dog’s stomach and intestines.
#8 Fruit Salads
Be careful when guests bring over Waldorf salad — or any salad with fruits. If there are grapes or raisins in it, your pet can’t have any. These fruits can cause serious and sometimes fatal kidney problems for your dogs. Watch for the nuts, too.
#9 Walnuts and Macadamia Nuts
Many nuts are fine for dogs in moderation.But walnuts and macadamia nuts are not and can be deadly if consumed by dogs. Macadamia nut toxicosis can cause neurological symptoms such as vomiting and lethargy while walnuts can cause gastric problems and may contain mycotoxins that cause seizures and neurological symptoms. Because of their fatty content, they often cause problems like pancreatitis over time if eaten by dogs.
#10 Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Pie
Pumpkin and sweet potatoes are fine for dogs. In fact, vets often recommend feeding raw pumpkin to settle a nervous tummy. Sweet potatoes turn out to be better for animals than other potatoes because of their lower glycemic index. They are generally healthy but the holiday pies, casseroles, and yam dishes made with these ingredients are a different story.
Most recipes for pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie contain nutmeg and cinnamon. We love nutmeg for all sorts of reasons but it is dangerous for dogs. Nutmeg contains a toxin called myristicin, which can cause seizures and problems with the central nervous system if consumed in large amounts.
Cinnamon is also something to watch out for. If ingested in large powdered amounts or via an essential oil, it can cause diarrhea, liver disease, vomiting and low blood sugar. Dogs that consumed too much can even die, so keep those pies and ingredient bottles out of reach.
Thanksgiving is a day best shared with friends and family. If you want your dog to join the celebration, make sure to keep it safe for them.
- You can opt to give raw carrots, broccoli, a bit of well-cooked white meat if you must, but not the indulgent foods you’re feasting upon.
- Remind your visiting guests — especially the kids — not to feed your dogs from their plates and tell them why.
- Feed your pooches only reasonable amounts of any safe people-food treats.
- Be aware of the ingredients in the foods you’re letting your dogs eat.
Make sure to keep it safe for your dogs so they’ll be around to enjoy more Thanksgivings in the future.