Our pets are important members of our families. We share with them our favorite couch, our beds, our snacks and, many times, even our vacation trips. It is only natural then to want to share with them our holiday celebrations including and especially, Thanksgiving.
We have many reasons to be thankful to our pets: their unconditional love, the loyalty, the company, the relaxation and health benefits they provide us, just to mention a few. It is only natural to want to share one of the most important family holidays with them, as well the delicious meal on our Thanksgiving table. Even though it is true that vets advise not to feed human food to your pets, and that the post-Thanksgiving days are very busy for veterinarians treating patients that have developed pancreatitis, vomiting, diarrhea or intoxications during the celebration, this is no reason to keep them isolated behind closed doors on this day. With careful consideration of what we feed them from our table, and close monitoring of their whereabouts in the crowded, decorated home, Thanksgiving with our pets can be safe and rewarding.
There are many traditional Thanksgiving foods that are safe for our healthy dogs and cats. However, always keep in mind that excess calories as well as high fat foods such as butter and heavy cream can cause gastrointestinal problems. Avoid feeding Thanksgiving foods if your pet has a chronic gastrointestinal disorder, has been formally diagnosed by a veterinarian with food allergies, or has a sensitive stomach. The following is a list of Thanksgiving foods that are safe for our pets:
- Turkey breast without the skin.
- Dark meat turkey without the skin.
- Boiled potato without the skin.
- Boiled sweet potato without the skin.
- Fresh cranberry sauce (contains less calories than the commercial ones).
- Canned or fresh cooked pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling which is high in calories).
- Boiled turnip.
- Boiled or crunchy raw green beans.
Remember to keep them away from decorations that could be harmful to them, such as toxic flowers (lilies, for example, are toxic to cats), burning candles, and potpourri. Do not leave your pet out of your Thanksgiving holiday celebration; he or she sure deserves to be there enjoying a little bit of the family meal. After all, they are the one family member that will likely be curled up with you after the meal to read a book or watch a movie in total peace.
Dr Sanchez-Emden is the founder of the Animal Health and Rehab Center in South Miami. She has been practicing veterinary medicine for 24 years. As a Certified Veterinary Journalist, she is the resident veterinarian for various national tv shows. She authored the book “CHIHUAHUAS: How To Be Your Dog’s Best Friend”. She also hosts the podcast show “ Hablando de Perros y Gatos con Dr Marta” available at the main internet platforms. Follow her @Drmartavet on You Tube, Instagram and Twitter. Also find her at Facebook.com/dr.sanchezemden and animalhealthrehab.com