Thanksgiving Dinner for Dogs

As with all the holidays and celebrations at this time of the year, Thanksgiving is one we would love to share with our dogs. And if you have a dog (or two or three or…) you definitely have at least one thing to be grateful for!IX66i34526

Such a big part of the day is focused on Thanksgiving dinner and these great treats can be safely shared with your furry friends if you do it the right way. Actually several traditional Thanksgiving foods can make a healthy Thanksgiving dinner for dogs.

Turkey is an excellent source of lean protein, but don’t include the skin as turkey skin can be difficult for dogs to digest. And no turkey fat or bones either of course! Large amounts of fat can cause indigestion, nausea and in certain cases pancreatitis.

Mashed potatoes are a healthy filling vegetable for your dog, but be careful of the additional ingredients used to make it, such as butter, milk, salt. A good idea is to put aside a small portion before you start adding the extras.

Sweet potato is also an excellent food for dogs and even used in diets for dogs with digestive problems. Again the same applies as for ordinary potatoes. Your dog’s portion needs to be plain, skinned, cooked sweet potato.

Wild rice is another good, filling source of fibre. And plainly cooked vegetables such as carrots, green beans and broccoli are all healthy. As is pumpkin – before it becomes pie! Try giving your dog a couple of chunks of raw carrot. It will give him something nice and juicy to chew on and keep him busy for a while.

All this to be served without gravy! Cranberry sauce is ok. Just be aware of the sugar content if it is a prepared shop bought one and only give a small helping. If you’re making a homemade sauce you can be a little more generous. Cranberries contain lots of Vitamin C and antioxidants.

Remember to give treats in moderation. Any change to their diet could possibly cause upset stomachs or diarrhoea. Also try to stick to your usual feeding routine even if you are eating at odd times during the holidays. Thanksgiving can potentially be a stressful time for your dog with lots of people and noise, so keeping to a routine can help calm him down.

It’s a good idea to keep your dogs away from the table while you’re enjoying your meal. Well-meaning guests could give in to those “please feed me before I pass out from hunger” eyes and slip them an unhealthy treat!

And when everything’s over and it’s time to clear the table, be careful to put the turkey carcass and leftovers well out of reach.

Unfortunately veterinary clinics are full of patients with digestive problems after the holidays. More cases of pancreatitis are diagnosed on the day after Thanksgiving than on any other day. But with a little care and thought you can give your dog a great Thanksgiving dinner!

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