Pets enjoy Thanksgiving just as much as people because it means lots and lots of delicious food! But it's important to take some safety precautions to ensure you are not causing digestive upset in your dog or cat over the turkey festivities.
Commercial dog and cat food, whether kibble or raw, comes in turkey form. However, no cooked bones are present nor is all that fatty grease. Skin-on turkey can cause acute pancreatitis, resulting in a holiday trip to the emergency room. Dark turkey meat can also be difficult to digest, leading to vomiting and diarrhea which can cause dehydration.
Turkey: Good or Bad?
So what turkey tips do you need to know to make your dog or cat feel included but not engorged this Thanksgiving?
- Avoid feeding cooked bones--that includes the wishbone!
- Remove the skin before feeding
- Offer white meat over dark meat
- Do not feed the turkey drippings and grease
- Limit the portion size
- Make sure the large turkey is out of the pet's reach
Proper Eating Manners: How to Play it Safe
Dogs and cats will follow their noses this Thanksgiving. You can take more preventative steps for pet digestive health other than just keeping the turkey out of reach come meal time.
- Keep the trash tightly covered and stowed away
- Remind guests not to feed from the table--or at all!
- Make sure food is not left unattended, especially when everyone is around the table
- Place food on high countertops or elsewhere where pets cannot get to it
Other Pet-Approved Thanksgiving Treats
Turkey isn't the only yummy food on the tables. Many classic tasty side dishes have a base ingredient that adds great nutrition to the dog and cat diet. However, these foods are best raw or lightly cooked and without all the toppings, such as gravy and whipped cream.
- Sweet potatoes (before the candied yams)
- Green beans (before the casserole)
- Mashed potatoes (before all the dairy and gravy)
- Pumpkin (before the pie)
Warning Signs of Digestive Upset
Pets are sneaky. Even when you think you've taken every last precaution (apart from separating them from the festivities), many have their ways of getting into trouble. Be on the lookout for these symptoms that could indicate food toxicity or obstruction:
- Decreased appetite
- Rapid breathing
We wish all of our clients and patients a Happy (and healthy!) Thanksgiving!