It's about that time of year when you have to gather all your recipes and buy the ingredients for your famous Thanksgiving dishes. The kitchen will soon smell of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. If this isn't your first year of being a pet owner, you already know what to expect: a drooling, panting, hungry animal somewhere nearby.
It's hard to resist those adorable, begging eyes. If your pet is a climber, it's probably even harder to keep them out of the food before it even reaches the pan. While some Thanksgiving delicacies are completely off-limits for animals, there are some treats you can give your dog to make them just as happy as you are during the holidays.
The main course and maybe the most attractive to your dog's nose. On its own, turkey is a nutritious part of many dog foods already. It contains protein, riboflavin and phosphorous, all of which are healthy for your dog. Turkey only gets dangerous when you start adding sauces, preservatives, and other extras. Drop a piece or two and watch your dog's eyes light up with glee.
This staple of the fall season is another great treat for your dog. Be careful with this one because you don't want to just scoop raw pumpkin out of your new decorative gourd and give it to your dog. You also shouldn't be giving them pieces of your pumpkin pie. However, canned pumpkin is a healthy compromise because it contains fiber, potassium, and Vitamin A, among other nutrients. Add this to your dog's food bowl, and maybe spray a little whipped cream on top (just like a Puppuccino at your local coffee shop).
Just like pumpkin, this classic side dish contains fiber, beta carotene, and essential vitamins to keep your dog healthy. As long as you don't include any brown sugar or marshmallows, you can cook and mash a sweet potato for your dog. Regular potatoes are off-limits, though. Recent research has linked canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) with dog foods containing potatoes. Raw potatoes contain a toxic compound called solanine, which is only reduced when potatoes are baked or boiled.
No matter which way you slice it, green beans are a strong choice for your dog's diet. Green beans have vitamins, minerals, and fiber, plus they don't have many calories. It's the sauces and spices that could endanger your pet, so just let your dog grab a few before you add any to your casserole.
It's not a guarantee that your dog will love the sour taste of cranberries, but it is safe to test your dog's palate with this fruity snack. Just make sure there aren't any raisins or grapes included because those can be toxic for dogs.
As with any treat, moderation is the key. Giving your dog too many foods on top of their regular diet could lead to obesity. Also, if you don't feel comfortable giving your pet any human food during the holidays, you can always throw them a bone or a puzzle toy filled with doggy treats. Those two options will keep them busy while you're cooking all your holiday dishes.
Have a question about pet health? Want to become the best possible pet parent? Find helpful tips, reminders, and insight to giving your furry friend the best possible care with For Pet's Sake! Learn more at drdevonsmith.com.