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To Give or Not To Give?

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to spend with family, friends, and pets, and of course – eat delicious food! The majority of us love to eat big meals at the holidays, and that includes the drooling puppy and the paw-must-touch-everything kitten. Unfortunately, not all holiday foods are safe for our four-legged friends to consume. So, it’s up to us to make sure they are only given food that is safe and digestible.

It’s hard to resist the temptation of puppy dog eyes staring up at you, but here is a list of Safe and Unsafe foods to let your pup try at your food gatherings.

Safe Foods:

  • Unseasoned Turkey Pieces

  • Plain, Pure Pumpkin

  • Fresh Apple Pieces & Blueberries

  • Plain Green Beans (unseasoned/unsalted, NOT casserole)

  • Plain Carrots (No glaze)

  • Broccoli (unseasoned/unsalted)

  • Plain Sweet Potato (NOT casserole)

Unsafe Foods:

  • Cooked bones (the most important one on this list!)

  • Seasoned/Marinated Meat: Turkey/Duck/Chicken

  • Turkey Skin

  • Gravy & Stuffing

  • Onion & Garlic & Mushrooms

  • Candied Yams & Cranberry Sauce

  • Chocolate/Cookies/Candies/Pies

  • Sage & Nutmeg & Nuts

  • Raisins & Grapes

  • Alcohol

  • Any food containing the ingredient Xylitol

This list also applies to Cats, Guinea Pigs, and Rabbits. Hamsters, Mice, and Rats may have nuts included in their Safe Foods list. If you are unsure, double check with your vet to see what foods are safe for your pets before feeding.

Here are some other tips to help your animals around the holidays when it comes to food!

  • Always feed small portions, even large amounts of Safe foods can cause digestive upset.

  • Gate the dog in a secure area of the house while food prepping.

  • Give a treat or frozen Kong to keep the pup busy while the smells fill their nose.

  • Create a safe room for your cat, with food/litter box/toys/scratch post where the door can be closed if they are sneaky.

  • If you are concerned about stealing food or jumping on tables/counters, then crate or gate the dog during the dinner, and give lots of treats and playtime after everything is cleaned up.

  • Make sure that all guests attending the dinner are on the same page as to what your pets can and cannot eat.

  • Watch children to ensure they don’t try to slip something to any of the animals.

We are so thankful for our pets & we hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving!!

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