Thanksgiving feasts for your pup

With the holidays quickly approaching and the delicious smell of food filling the air, Thanksgiving is a treat that everyone is looking forward too…especially our dogs.

As you gather around the table ready to give thanks, you look down to see your dog running laps around the table barking and panting in hopes that food will fall onto the floor. You smile, and throw down a piece of turkey for your favorite companion. While this can be a wonderful way to add some lean protein and fresh veggies to your pup’s diet, there are also some hidden dangers in indulging your pet on this year’s holiday feast.

According to A Thanksgiving Meals for Dogs, many of the traditional holiday recipes for people are dangerous to your dog’s health. According to the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society, feeding dogs large quantities of a new food, as well as fatty foods, such as turkey gravy, mashed potatoes with butter, and dressing, can cause pancreatitis. If you’ve already allowed your pooch to overindulge, watch for warning signs, as this potentially deadly inflammation of the pancreas produces severe symptoms of diarrhea or vomiting.

Instead of making a doggy bag for your pet full of leftovers, try preparing a safe Thanksgiving meal for your little furry friend. They deserve a real treat every once in a while too.

Turkey is a great source of protein for any pooch, however, be sure to remove any excess skin or fat and stick to white meat, making sure there aren’t any bones. It might be tempting to toss a turkey bone your dog’s way during the holiday, but according to L.A. Animal Services,’s Top 5 Thanksgiving Treats for Pets, turkey bones can easily break, and the sharp splinters can potentially cause damage to your dog’s intestines.

Aside from tasty turkey, Mashed potatoes are another great side dish to add alongside the turkey, but make sure they are plain without any sour cream, butter, onions, garlic and scallions. Gravy and buttery side dishes are fatty foods that can cause diarrhea and/or vomiting. Green beans is a great fresh veggie to give your pet, but avoid any form of a casserole.

Want to give your pup something sweet? Try a small amount of cranberry sauce, but watch the sugar content in it. Plain canned pumpkin is okay too, but steer clear of any sort of pumpkin pie filling.

Chocolate, as most of you know, is toxic to our canine friends. Chocolate can be fatal to dogs because it contains theobromine, which can increase your pup’s heart rate and causes hyperactivity, increased panting, twitching, diarrhea, and vomiting. Even sugar-free items that contain xylitol can be dangerous, causing stomach or intestinal irritation.

Don’t forget this is an exciting time for friends, family, food and fun. Enjoy your guests but make sure to educate them, especially the less pet-savvy visitors, on rules for feeding your pet. We all want to relax after a huge feast in preparation for Black Friday sales instead of spending our holidays in a veterinary emergency room.