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Thanksgiving Tips and Treats for Pets

We all love to pig out on Thanksgiving, and in the spirit of sharing, sometimes we let out pets pig out too.  A nibble here and a lick there is plenty indulgent for household pets but be sure not to over do it or you could end up at the vet's office.  Here are a few tips to help your pets enjoy Thanksgiving.  If you'd like to cook up a special treat for your dog while you're working in the kitchen, here is a special recipe for Doggie Gobblers.

Stuff Your Turkey, Not Your Dog
Veterinarians experience an increased number of office calls due to digestive problems after the holidays and turkey skin in particular can cause upset stomach and diarrhea.  If you want to share turkey with your dog, give him a sliver of skinless, boneless turkey breast.

Stuff the Kong
Put your dog's kibble into a Kong and add a little bit of gravy or mashed potato to top it off.  This will keep your pal busy while you enjoy the meal sans begging.

A Tired Dog is a Good Dog
We've all heard this one before.  Take the dog out for a good hike, or let him join in the annual touch football game, before the big meal.  Again, you'll have less tableside whimpering to deal with if the dog is tired out and resting peacefully.

No Bones
Turkey bones can wreak havoc on the stomach and intestines.  Obviously you can avoid giving the dog turkey bones, but be sure to remove your dinner plate and the turkey carcass from the table and/or counters so the dog isn't tempted to snatch it away.

Scary Stuffing
Sage and other herbs that contain essential oils can be, in large quantities, poisionous to dogs.  The same goes for onions.  Both of these foods are used often used in stuffing, so if you plan to include these ingredients in your stuffing recipe, don't share it with the dog.

No Raw Diet
Not with Thanksgiving foods anyhow!  Raw turkey can contain salmonella, not good for people or pets.  Raw dough for rolls and breads contain yeast and can inflate in a dog's stomach causing pain, vomiting and bloating.  Stick to the pre-made doggy buiscuits. 

Beware Yappy Hour
Some dogs like to get into just about anything.  If you leave an alcoholic drink on the coffee table, the dog is at risk for disorientation, illness and fatigue.  Keep the grog at waist height or above. 

Wishing you all a happy and yummy Thanksgiving celebration!
(Photo credit: ASPCA)