Best & Worst Thanksgiving Foods for Pets

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If you are a pet owner who truly can’t resist sharing some food from the oven, here are some things to keep in mind this holiday when it comes to feeding your pets on Thanksgiving:

  1. Keep portions small and limit them to one or two new kinds of food (like turkey and green beans).
  2. Watch what’s in the recipe: Onions, garlic, and some spices can be toxic, and lots of butter, sour cream, or bacon drippings can be high in fat.
  3. Don’t leave food within reach of counter surfers and take garbage outside so your pets don’t into it while you’re watching a football game.

Toxic foods for cats include onion, garlic, most baked goods including bread, dairy (so no dairy milk for kitties!), and nutmeg. So many Thanksgiving foods include those products, so keep them away from your feline friends.

Onion and garlic are also toxic for dogs in large amounts, and dogs need to also steer clear of macadamia nuts in addition to the more commonly known dog allergies (chocolate, xylitol, grapes for example).

Something that owners need to be aware of especially around Thanksgiving time is to NOT give your dogs turkey or chicken bones! Poultry bones tend to splinter and can get lodged in throats.

Something else for cat owners to keep in mind especially during the holidays is that some of the common festive flowers are very toxic to cats. Especially anything in the lily family, as even the tiniest bit of exposure to lily pollen can cause cats’ kidneys to shut down.

Tea tree oil is also harmful for both dogs and cats, even when diffused in the air!

So what are some foods that are safe for your four-legged family member?

  • Veterinarians often recommend cooked or canned plain pumpkin as a dietary source of fiber for pets who may have problems with irregularity.
  • Not your mama’s famous green bean casserole. Plain green beans are the way to go.
  • Small pieces of raw or cooked carrots.
  • According to American Kennel Club, cooked sweet potatoes provide an excellent source of dietary fiber, which helps the digestive system function more effectively. Eating fiber on a regular basis lowers the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancers.

Be cautious this Thanksgiving and when in doubt, save the overindulging to the humans, not your furry friends. And thank you to Austin Pet’s Alive for sending us some great pet safety tips. Learn more about Austin Pets Alive here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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