Thanksgiving Dinner for Pets: Safety Tips and More

Thanksgiving dinner tastes delicious to everybody, including your pets. It’s only natural that many pet owners find themselves wanting to feed their pet from the dinner table during their Thanksgiving meal. It may seem harmless just to sneak your pet a few bites here and there, but feeding your pet human food can be dangerous if not done properly. The following tips will help you share your Thanksgiving feast with your pet safely, making your holiday a special occasion for everyone in the family.

Keep it Plain and Simple

Pets shouldn’t eat things like cream, sugar, butter, salt and seasonings. To feed your pet human food, make them as plain as possible. Mash your potatoes but leave out the cream, salt and butter. Cook the carrots without spices and sauce.

Know What’s Toxic

You’ve probably heard that chocolate is toxic for cats and dogs, but there are other foods and treats that are also toxic. For example: onions, leaks and everything in the Allium family, bread dough, cake batter, sage, and dairy can all cause problems for pet digestion. Don’t forget that turkey bones are also bad for pets, and can do damage to your pet’s stomach or intestines if swallowed.

Run it Past the Vet

So many human foods are dangerous for pets that it’s a good idea to run your menu for your pet past the veterinarian before Thanksgiving day. Your pet’s veterinarian can advise you of any potential pitfalls and recommend solutions that can help your pet stay safe and healthy over the holiday.

Don’t Go Overboard

Pets should eat in moderation, just like people, and unless your pet eats human foods every day, a huge meal of unusual treats can cause indigestion and discomfort for your pet. In other words, feed your pet small amounts, with breaks in between servings.

Don’t Feed Your Pet from the Table

Feeding your pet from the table sets a bad precedent. Your pet won’t understand that Thanksgiving is a special occasion, and may come to expect food from the table on a daily basis. This can lead to behavior problems and may even compel your pet to sneak food when you’re not looking. To avoid problems, give your pet a share of food in his or her dish, and do not feed your pet from the table.

Don’t Give In to Begging

Your pet may decide that he or she likes human food and wants more. For many pet owners, begging and whining is hard to ignore, but giving in to your pet’s insistent pleas only proves to your pet that whining works. If your pet begins to beg for more food even after he or she has been given enough to eat, put your pet into another room to show your pet that enough is enough.

Keep Discarded Foods Safe

Pets who develop a taste for human food may decide to eat food from the garbage if they can get into it. Some pet owners deal with this problem by putting pet safety guards on the lid of their garbage. Other pet owners buy heavy duty garbage cans that their pet can’t easily get into. Either way, it’s important to safeguard your garbage from your pet.

Join the NASC Today

At the National Animal Supplement Council, we help pets stay healthy and safe. We promote use of nutritional supplements for improved pet immunity and wellness. For more information or to join our cause, contact us today.