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Let’s face it: Our dogs are extended members of the family. So, each Thanksgiving, you might find yourself wondering if you can set an extra plate of turkey meat for your furry family member to enjoy. Although you should avoid feeding your dog certain foods like: onions, mashed potatoes, gravy, or stuffing, there are some traditional foods that dogs can enjoy this holiday season.
First, always be sure to read nutrition labels before feeding any human foods to your dog. Be on the lookout for ingredients that may be toxic to dogs, additives, and anything your pup may be allergic to (you’d hate to rush to the vet during the holidays because of an allergic reaction!) It is always a good idea to check your dog insurance coverage for accidental toxin ingestion.
Remember that feeding your dog human food should be considered a treat, not a regular part of your dog’s diet.
There’s plenty your dog can enjoy at Thanksgiving dinner. For starters, pile on the vegetables, especially carrots and green beans. However, when it comes to the main event – the turkey – there are a few things you should know.
The good news is that plain, cooked turkey meat is safe for dogs to eat. In fact, you’ve likely fed turkey to them in a treat or in dog food once before. Many commercial dog foods use plain turkey as a healthy source of protein in their dog food formulas.
If you want to give your dog something to be grateful for, hold the skin, seasoning, and cooked turkey bones. While we humans can indulge in enjoying turkey with the skin on, the animal fat found in turkey skin can lead to obesity and pancreatitis in your pup.
As for bones, your dog can safely consume them when raw, but remove any cooked bones from the turkey. Be sure to check for small bones – they can be sneaky.
There are a few foods you should leave to the human relatives. According to Healthline, you should not feed your dog anything candied or containing chocolate, grapes, garlic, raisins, onion, raw yeast, macadamia nuts, lemons, or limes.
Double or triple-check any desserts your guests may bring (and your pup may try to sneak into). The theobromine and caffeine found in chocolate can wreak havoc in your dog’s digestive system, and the added sugar or sugar substitutes can also do some damage. Be sure to keep these foods far away from your fur baby’s reach!
What’s Thanksgiving without a little apple pie, though? Yes, on the apples, but hold the pie, ice cream, whipped cream, and any extra sweeteners–you really should only feed your dog raw or frozen fruits. If you want to keep things exciting, try a fruit salad medley: berries, bananas, and pineapple are all doggy-proof. A handful of plain popcorn with no salt or butter is also acceptable.
Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family, and the furry friends in your life!
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