In addition to the family, friends, and fellowship associated with Thanksgiving, there’s a huge catch—the food. Your pet likely agrees the best parts of this holiday are the assorted savory side dishes, delicious desserts, and the star of the show—the Thanksgiving turkey. Although your pet would love to have their own place at the dinner table, many of the delicious foods we enjoy are better off not shared with cats and dogs. Threats of pancreatitis, gastrointestinal obstructions, or toxicities come into play when you sneak your four-legged friend bites from your plate. Avoid spending your Thanksgiving in an emergency veterinary hospital by opting for the following tasty, pet-safe alternatives:


  • Plain turkey breast — Dogs and bones are often paired together, but tossing your pooch a turkey leg is a big no-no. Instead, offer small bites of unseasoned turkey breast with skin, bones, and excess fat removed. 


  • Fresh veggies — Fresh vegetables, minus garlic and onions, are always an excellent healthy treat for your pet. When preparing your side dishes, save a few carrots, green beans, or broccoli chunks for your pet to nibble while your family enjoys casseroles, stuffings, and other sides stuffed with veggies. 


  • Unseasoned mashed potatoes — While your typical mashed potatoes loaded with butter, milk, garlic, and other seasonings are off-limits for pets, plain mashed potatoes are perfectly acceptable in small portions. Before adding all the extras that make mashed potatoes delicious, save a bite or two that is free from seasonings and dairy products. Many pets are lactose-intolerant—including cats—and can vomit or develop diarrhea from milk.   


When inviting your loved ones to join your Thanksgiving celebration, ensure you warn them not to feed your pet from their plates. If your family—and your pet—can’t resist the holiday delicacies, confine your pet to their crate or a bedroom for safety. However, if your pet runs off with the turkey or dives into the trash for leftovers, contact us for help treating their gastrointestinal upset.