Thanksgiving Dinner for Pets

Thanksgiving dinner means delicious smells throughout the house to tempt your four-legged dinner guests. You probably find yourself sharing some of the best parts of the meal with your pets and don't think further about it. Most of the food you serve at Thanksgiving is safe for your pets and one ingredient, pumpkin, is an excellent health aid for cats and dogs year-round. You still should pay attention to what your pets are eating as some ingredients aren't good for them. Here's a look at sharing Thanksgiving dinner with pets.

Pumpkin is Great for Digestive Issues

That's right -- the star ingredient of the pie for dessert is also good for alleviating constipation and diarrhea in dogs and cats. Your dog may prefer the version that's on your table, but it's best to use non-spiced pureed pumpkin straight from the can and mix it in with their food. Cats can be a little more difficult because they prefer food with strong odors and pumpkin doesn't have much of a scent. One option is to put pumpkin into foods with a strong smell to entice your cat to eat the mixture.

Hold the Onions for the Cats and Raisins/Currants for the Dogs

Cats don't usually go for the carbohydrates like stuffing, but there's always an exception to the rule. If you have a bread aficionado in the house and you use onions in your stuffing, keep the two well apart. Onions and its relations in the garlic family cause anemia in cats by breaking down their red blood cells. A small amount of onion that's been accidentally ingested may not cause issues, but repeated feedings of onion will cause anemia. It's better to err on the side of caution and keep the stuffing away from your cat.

If you put currants or raisins in your stuffing, don't feed it to your dog. Currants and grapes are toxic to a dog’s kidneys. There's no baseline for the toxicity of either of these foods which means a single raisin or currant can make your dog seriously ill.

Dogs can get the Table Scraps

The omnivorous nature of dogs means they're capable of consuming just about anything. Make sure there's nothing in the food that can hurt a dog such as a small bone from the turkey. Otherwise, as long as your meals are free from ingredients toxic to dogs, you can safely feed them the leftovers.

Cats can Eat the Turkey and Other Proteins

As long as the turkey is free from ingredients that come from the garlic family, they're safe for cats. Cut the turkey up into small pieces to make it easier for your cat to chew and swallow. And, as with dogs, make sure there are no bones for them to choke on.

Thanksgiving foods are mostly safe for your pets, but if you don't want to run the risk of an emergency trip to the veterinarian, feed them Thanksgiving-themed pet food. These foods contain all the delicious ingredients that are on the table but presented in a form that is safe for pets to enjoy.

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