One thing that won’t change? Your pet’s presence on Turkey Day. Whether you are celebrating Thanksgiving virtually or not, chances are your dog will be there by your side, especially while your cooking. And while this year it may be more tempting than ever to share some of your holiday feast with Fido, Dr. Gerardo Perez-Camargo, Freshpet’s expert veterinarian, is here to remind pet owners that feeding your dog scraps from your Thanksgiving meal is unsafe and can sometimes lead to long-term or fatal health problems for your pooch.
Simple staples like turkey or sweet potatoes may seem safe to feed your dog, but Dr. Perez-Camargo says that these foods could be hiding something dangerous.
“Seasonings may enhance flavor for us humans, but they can be harmful to our pets,” says Dr. Perez-Camargo of Freshpet, a fresh pet food company. “Seasonings and ingredients such as garlic, onion, leeks, and chive are favorites for the holiday, but are dangerous, and even toxic to cats and dogs.”
In addition to troublesome seasonings, turkey scraps can also contain small bones that can cause serious damage.
“While your dog might love to nibble on turkey bones, NEVER give them to your dog!,” Dr. Perez-Camargo adds. “I’ve even heard the misconception that large dog breeds are more capable of eating bones, but poultry bones are razor-thin and can perforate the digestive system of your dog.”
The best way to treat your pet to something scrumptious on Thanksgiving is to stick with foods that you know are safe for animals, like their own treats and chow. To add a little extra fun to feeding your pet on Thanksgiving, Dr. Perez-Camargo suggests hiding dog treats around the house for your pup to hunt for while you are busy cooking.
If you want to stay on theme with your Thanksgiving dog’s meal, there are plenty of pet food brands that offer Thanksgiving-themed food.