Things You Shouldn’t Feed Your Dog at Thanksgiving
The holidays can be challenging for dog owners. With so many food items being passed around and so many things going in and coming out of the oven, it’s hard to allow pets to have their usual run of the home. Data from Daily Meal reveals that in the past week alone, there’s been a 130% increase in Google searches for ‘Is Thanksgiving food bad for dogs?’ and an 80% increase in Google search demand for ‘What Thanksgiving foods can dogs eat,’ showing a surge in interest in this topic.
But luckily, you don’t have to crate your animal during the festivities. Instead, make sure they feel right at home, celebrating alongside you during your Thanksgiving Day feast — while taking some important precautions.
Anyone with pets knows there are certain foods you need to keep away from them as they are dangerous for their health. For dogs, this includes things like chocolate, grapes, raisins, stuffing, and other desserts, like dairy-like ice cream, which can cause digestive problems.
You should also avoid seasonings, which can cause similar issues with digestion and be toxic (like in the case of onions and garlic). These alliums, including chives, leeks, and shallots, can damage red blood cells and induce hemolytic anemia.
How to safely share a Thanksgiving dinner with your dog
Jose Molina, executive chef at The Wilson NYC (a New York City restaurant with a year-round dog-specific menu), and Barry Tonks, Culinary Director for IGC Hospitality, exclusively told Daily Meal that the best thing to do is to “set aside some of the simple main ingredients prior to seasoning them.”
Additionally, while turkey is a good choice, stick to white meat rather than dark, which is fatty and can cause long-term health issues, and avoid bones, skin, and gravy. These items “shouldn’t be served to your pet (even the bigger leg bones can easily splinter and [become] a choking hazard),” Tonks and Molina told Daily Meal.
Items like (unseasoned) green beans, apples, and sweet potatoes are all safe choices.
Best and worst Thanksgiving foods for cats, according to experts:
The issues multiply if you’re talking about eating with cats rather than dogs. Cats are even more intolerant of plants in the allium family than dogs, and thanks to their small size, they can develop toxicity from even smaller amounts of it.
With cats, you also have to be extremely careful of nutmeg (which can kill them), as well as butter and mushrooms (which won’t kill them but will mess with their digestion).
Interestingly, both dogs and cats can eat unseasoned pumpkin. Whether they’ll want to is another story, but pumpkin pie filling from the can is so safe they even make dog-specific brands infused with things like maple and banana. Molina and Tonks also told Daily Meal: “For cats only, you can top it with some unsweetened homemade whipped cream.”
Daily Meal recommends, “Just be sure to follow these rules, and your Thanksgiving will be blissfully free of any trips to the Veterinary Emergency Hospital.”