Update: August 16, 2023
Thanksgiving, a heartwarming holiday cherished by families and friends, is a time of gratitude and togetherness. It’s important to remember that our furry friends are part of the celebration, adding their own special touch to the occasion!
However, ensuring their safety amidst the festivities is important. While some Thanksgiving foods are harmful to dogs, there are plenty of safe alternatives to share.
Let’s discover how we can make this Thanksgiving both enjoyable and secure for our dogs!
The Importance of Dog Safety During Thanksgiving
During Thanksgiving, it’s crucial to remember that our dogs are integral parts of our families. Just as we plan our holiday meals with care for our human loved ones, we must also consider our canine companions.
Certain common Thanksgiving foods, such as chocolate, onion, garlic, grapes, and raisins, pose significant dangers to dogs
These ingredients can lead to various health issues, including toxicity, damage to red blood cells, and kidney failure. To ensure our dogs’ safety and well-being, it’s best to avoid sharing these risky foods and instead choose safer options that cater to their specific dietary needs.
Read on to see which foods are okay in small amounts and which foods you should avoid feeding your pet this Thanksgiving.
Safe Thanksgiving Food for Dogs
It’s perfectly fine to feed your dog small amounts of turkey, as long as it is unseasoned and does not have any trace of gravy or other meat toppers. Remember to remove the skin before feeding your dog!
Sweet potatoes are actually recommended to include in a dog’s diet in moderation. The nutrients found in sweet potatoes can complement your dog’s diet to provide vitamins A and C, potassium, fiber, and more.
Your dog can have a small amount of bread as long as there is no butter or other type of spread on it. Bread acts as a filler for pets, meaning there is really no nutritional benefit. Avoid giving your dog raw bread dough, though, because this can be toxic!
Unseasoned carrots can act as a healthy snack for your dog that won’t upset their stomach or give too many calories. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene and vitamins and have that nice crunch that our dogs love so much.
Raw apples can also be a healthy treat for your dog. Apples are an excellent low-calorie, high-fiber snack that helps your pet feel full.
Green beans are a casserole staple in many families, but make sure to give your dog a few of these veggies before baking them! Green beans also have good amounts of fiber and vitamins C and K.
Dangerous Thanksgiving Food for Dogs
Stuffing is often made with onions and garlic, and these two ingredients can be extremely toxic to dogs and cats. Onion and garlic can cause damage to your pet’s red blood cells, also known as anemia.
Meat is bad for dogs?! It can be! Ham has a very high amount of sodium which can lead to dehydration in your pet. In severe cases, they could develop sodium ion poisoning.
It is popular to associate dogs with bones, but in reality, chewing on cooked bones can cause a variety of problems for dogs.
The most dangerous aspect of giving cooked bones to dogs is that the bones can splinter and cause damage to your dog’s digestive system. The splintered pieces can cause an obstruction or can puncture the lining of the digestive tract, both of which result in an urgent vet visit and potentially fatal outcomes.
This includes gravy, meat trimmings, drippings, dressings, etc. High-fat content in food can cause your dog to have an upset stomach. This could lead to vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain.
Grapes are poisonous to dogs and have been known to cause kidney failure. Symptoms could include vomiting and diarrhea, but long term, there could be permanent kidney damage.
We all know chocolate is bad for dogs, but why? Dogs cannot metabolize the chemicals in chocolate as humans can, so they may end up developing increased heart rates or seizures.
Be sure to watch your dog make sure they’re not getting into anything that could be potentially toxic for them.
Dogs can be sneaky when they want something they can’t have, so make sure all of your guests are aware of what is and is not allowed for your dog. If your dog gets into something toxic, call your vet immediately.
Healthy Dog Treats for Thanksgiving
Lucky for you, Momentum Carnivore Nutrition has the perfect solution for including your furry friend in the holiday festivities!
Our Turkey Meal Bars have the perfect combination of ingredients to allow your pet to get a (safe) taste of what the humans at the table are eating.
These convenient meal bars made from humanely raised meat and all-natural ingredients serve as a perfect meal option (one bag makes up to 2.5 pounds of raw dog food!) or as a supplement to your pet’s existing diet.
Our Turkey Meal Bars consist of freeze-dried raw turkey, pumpkin, butternut squash, cranberry fiber, cinnamon, and other all-natural ingredients to provide your pet with a well-rounded meal that satisfies every nutritional need.
With ingredients like these, it’s almost like your pet is at the table with you this holiday season!
Feeding Etiquette and Portion Control
Maintaining a sense of moderation and practicing portion control is essential when including your furry companion in the Thanksgiving festivities.
While sharing the joy of the holiday meal with your dog is heartwarming, it’s crucial to tailor their portions according to their specific needs.
Portion sizes should be determined by factors like their size, age, and activity level. This ensures that they receive a treat without compromising their health.
Overindulgence, while tempting, can lead to digestive discomfort and potential health issues for your dog. Abrupt dietary changes can upset their digestive system, causing discomfort and distress.
By being mindful of their portions and gradually introducing new foods, you’ll ensure a happy and healthy Thanksgiving experience for your beloved dog!
Tips for Including Your Dog in Thanksgiving Festivities
Make Thanksgiving an inclusive celebration for your dog by following some simple yet effective tips that prioritize their safety and enjoyment.
Engage Your Dog in Outdoor Activities
Engaging in outdoor activities like walks or playing fetch can help burn off excess energy your dog has. This will help them settle down during the big Thanksgiving meal!
Create a Designated Safe Space
Amidst the hustle and bustle, ensure your dog has a designated safe space to retreat to if the festivities become a tad overwhelming for them. This offers a reassuring retreat where they can relax and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Prepare Dog-Friendly Interactive Toys
You can also keep your pup entertained and content by providing dog-friendly interactive toys that stimulate their minds and bodies. Popular dog-friendly interactive toys include:
- Puzzle Toys
- Interactive Feeders
- Squeaky Plush Toys
- Interactive Balls
- Tug Toys with Handles
- Fetch Toys
- Automatic Ball Launchers
- Snuffle Mats
- Interactive Laser Toys
- Treat-Dispensing Toys
Signs of Food Toxicity and When to Consult a Vet
Being aware of the signs of food toxicity is essential for every pet owner!
If your dog has ingested something harmful, symptoms can manifest in various ways. Keep a close watch for sudden changes in their behavior, appetite, or overall health.
Common signs of food poisoning in dogs include:
- Excessive Drooling
- Difficulty Breathing
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to act promptly. While some mild cases might resolve on their own with proper care, more severe symptoms demand immediate attention from a veterinarian.
If you suspect your dog has ingested something toxic or if their condition worsens rapidly, don’t hesitate to reach out to a veterinary professional.
Celebrating Thanksgiving Safely with Your Dog
As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s crucial to remember your dog’s well-being. By considering their dietary needs and safety, you can ensure a joyful holiday for both your family and furry friend.
A little planning and care go a long way in making this season a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone, including your dog!