The wonderful smells of Thanksgiving dinner wafting through your apartment is tempting for anyone, especially your dog. It might beg, but unless you’re sure it’s safe, you shouldn’t give your dog Thanksgiving food. Fortunately, some of the delicious bounty you’ve prepared can be shared with your pet.
Dog-Safe Thanksgiving Foods
1. Turkey: Lean protein, like that found in turkey, is great for dog health. However, only choose certain parts of the bird to feed to your dog. Light meat is the best as it contains the least amount of fat. Avoid sharing the skin or dark meat as too much fatty food can give your dog diarrhea or invoke vomiting. Also be careful of wings because they are filled with tiny bones your dog could choke on. A few slices of light meat is the safest way to go.
2. Mashed Potatoes: Depending on how you prepare mashed potatoes, your dog may be able to have some. Just like with the turkey, you want to avoid giving your pet excess fat. Potatoes with a touch of salt and pepper are all right. However, if you add butter or cream, your dog may end up with a belly ache. If you really want your pet to get in on the Thanksgiving food, make a separate batch of simple mashed potatoes. Also, no gravy for Fido!
3. Green Beans: If you make a green bean casserole with mushroom soup and fried onions, you should avoid sharing–but green beans are great for dogs! Set aside a handful of fresh green beans to be steamed and given to your four-legged friend.
Important: Things to Avoid
Be especially careful not to include onions, garlic, scallions, chives or leeks in any of the Thanksgiving foods you share–they are toxic to dogs! In addition, avoid sharing foods with sugar. Grapes and raisins have been shown to lead to kidney failure in dogs. Remember that sweet potatoes and corn are also full of sugar. Bread, while all right in very small amounts, expands in your dog’s stomach. This can cause issues, so it’s better to keep it on the table.
Monitoring Your Dog
Your pet-friendly apartment should stay that way over the holidays. It might be hard to stop your dog from nibbling on crumbs while you have people in your apartment, but try your best to keep food off the ground while you cook and eat.
Keep your dog to its regular schedule. Be sure it gets outside for the daily walk and eats its regular food. Maintaining normal habits will keep your dog happy when the excitement of having a full house starts to overwhelm it. Do not let children around your dog unattended. As the day can be rather stressful, your dog may lash out when a kid hugs it or interacts with it in a way it doesn’t like. A good way to keep your dog out of the commotion is to prepare a dog-safe room. Put its bed in your room with a water bowl and calming music. After dinner, bring its plate of safe Thanksgiving food.