Operation Kindness Blog

Share your Thanksgiving feast with your pets – safely!

Operation Kindness Blog - Thanksgiving Pet Food Safety Tips

Thanksgiving is a memorable holiday that brings friends and family together, including our furry friends. Whether they’re receiving extra pets or posing with the family in ugly holiday sweaters for an upcoming postcard, it’s fun to include pets in the holiday fun. As much as they want to be part of the festivities, we also must remember that their safety is a priority, especially for delicious foods shared during celebrations.

The aroma of turkey and pie is enough to make anyone’s mouth water, including pets who’d like to sit at the table. Unfortunately, quite a few seasonal foods are harmful to animals and should be avoided.

This Thanksgiving, our Chief Veterinarian, Dr. Tiffany Tobaben, offers these helpful food tips.

Dogs and cats should avoid eating:

• Seasoned turkey, including skin and bones
• Turkey twine
• Gravy trimmings
• Fatty foods
• Corn on the cob
• Garlic and onions
• Raw bread and dough
• Sweets
• Grapes and raisins
• Chocolate
• Nuts
• Artificial sweeteners (such as Xylitol)

For pets, the foods above can cause health concerns, especially digestive issues for animals. But that doesn’t mean they have to feel left out. There are quite a few nutritious and healthy foods dogs and cats can indulge in, allowing them to feel included while everyone else is enjoying their meals.

Festive alternatives that are fun treats include:

• Small pieces of unseasoned turkey meat with no bones or skin
• Pumpkin puree
• Unsweetened applesauce
• Plain, unseasoned vegetables like carrots or green beans (chopped into bite-size)
• Apple slices
• Dehydrated sweet potatoes, available at most pet stores in the treat section
• Canned chicken with no salt added
• Canned tuna
• Meat flavored baby foods

Additionally, you can mix these items with kibble and stuff in a Kong toy, spread on a lick mat, or use them as a topper over dry food. Another bonus is these activities will keep your pets occupied and away from the kitchen!

We hope you have a wonderful holiday with your loved ones. Happy Thanksgiving!