25 November 2015

Celebrating Thanksgiving with your Pets

"I know the turkey is in there!" -Cara
Photo by A. Piper Burgi

Thanksgiving is a most treasured holiday, a time when we gather with our family members and friends to celebrate, eat delicious foods and enjoy each others company. Every family has their own, unique way of celebrating Thanksgiving, and most pet parents like to include their furry children in those celebrations.

Many dog and cat owners enjoy sharing their home cooked foods with their pets, usually by way of sneaking a few bites off their plate underneath the table. It is, therefore, imperative to know which foods are safe and which are considered toxic to pets. Especially if your dog already enjoys the benefits of a home cooked food diet or even a raw food diet then a few bites from your plate should be fine to share. However, if your furry companion is accustomed to a commercial kibble diet only, it is important to know their level of stomach sensitivity to avoid an upset stomach. If you feel uncertain that the foods you'll be serving will be safe for your canine, you can always cook a special homemade meal for your furry child. Here's one of my favourite recipes:

Doggie Thanksgiving Dinner

2 Cups of ground or shredded turkey
1 Cup of sweet potato cubes
1 Cup of potato cubes
1/2 Cup of pumpkin puree 
1/2 Cup green beans
1/2 Cup peas
1/2 Cup chopped carrots
2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Heat olive oil in pan and brown turkey meat. Cut vegetables into chunks and boil them until soft. Combine all ingredients  and let meal cool until safe to eat. 

It is vital to be aware of the foods that are considered unsafe and even toxic for pets to consume. Do not feed your fur baby anything that contains onions, garlic, grapes or raisins, artificial sweeteners to include Xylitol, coffee, raw yeast or bread dough, macadamia nuts, chocolate or alcohol...just to mention a few. For more in-depth information, please contact your veterinarian. 

It is also important to keep in mind that those family gatherings can be rather loud, depending on how big your family is. Therefore, it is a good idea to provide a safe and quiet place for your dog to retreat to. The holidays can be very hectic and busy time for all of us, and unfortunately some of our furry companions do not tolerate loud noise and large crowds very well. So, be aware of your dogs needs and everyone should be able to enjoy this special time of the year. 

Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!


PS: Interested in more pet friendly recipes? You can find them in my book Living with Canine Epilepsy

Related Posts:
A Good Day and a Bad Day in the Life of an Epileptic Dog
Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

by A. Piper Burgi

Piper is the author of military lifestyle books and RV travel journals. When she isn't busy typing away on her computer, she can be found chasing after her furry children or holding on tightly to a good cup of coffee. Follow her on LinkedInFacebookGoodreads and Google+.

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