What Thanksgiving Foods Are Safe For Your Pets to Eat
Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I can already smell many of my favorite foods cooking in my mother's kitchen. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, and pumpkin pie. Who wouldn't love to have that meal this week? Your pet is wondering the same thing. Where's mine? And while you might think that a little turkey or ham might be O.K. around the holidays, most experts agree. Leave the leftovers to the humans!
So let's start off with that Thanksgiving turkey. Should your pet have any? According to the American Kennel Club, the answer is a bit 'yes AND no'. Turkey is often used to make many commercial dog foods and can be good for animals when cooked plain. However, the AKC points out that Thanksgiving turkeys are rarely cooked plain, and often include fats, oils, and spices that can cause digestive problems. Turkey skin, fat, and bones, can be dangerous to both cats and dogs and that is why the American Veterinary Medical Association cautions against feeding it to your pets.
What about ham, and other Thanksgiving side dishes? The AKC says 'no'. Ham, bacon, butter, gravy, and other meat scraps contain too much fat and could cause pancreatitis. That is the inflammation of the pancreas and it can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain for your pet. Symptoms may not start right away and could last up to four days.
So what is safe for my dog or cat to eat around the holidays? Don't worry, there are some foods, when cooked plain, you can give your pet as a treat. That list includes apples, green beans, sweet potatoes, zucchini, winter squash, and carrots. The folks at Purina add cranberries, pumpkin, plain mashed potatoes, and plain turkey to the list. Just make sure if you do give your pet a holiday treat, to keep the portion size small and follow the expert's guidelines!