Are Thanksgiving Dinner Table Scraps Safe for Your dog?

TurkeyBasterThe debate about dogs eating “people food” or being fed scraps for the table has been a hot topic of debate for a long time. It’s probably been an even hotter topic of debate at your own dinner table at home. It seems one member of the family is always the weak link in the “no food from the table” chain. With the holidays just around the corner leftovers are abundant but are holiday leftovers safe for your dog? Let’s look at what foods your dog should never have, what they should not have and what they could spare a nibble on.

Foods that dogs should never have

Regardless of the time of year there are certain foods that are toxic to dogs and should never be given to your pet. A few examples are:

  • Raisins (and grapes)
  • Onions
  • Bones not meant for dogs (wishbone, etc.)
  • Garlic
  • Chocolate

Foods that dogs should not have

Of course you want to share the holiday festivities with your dog, but that doesn’t necessarily mean feeding them your scraps or allowing them to partake in the holiday meal. While the holidays are a time for indulgence keep in mind that your dogs digestive system is vastly different than yours and overdoing it with the treats could cause them to be ill. Holiday treats to avoid include:

  • The skin or fat from meat (turkey or otherwise)
  • Anything high in calories and sugar (pies, dessert, etc.)
  • Gravy
  • Stuffing

These foods are rich in things your dog can’t easily digest and can cause diarrhea and vomiting, not to mention the risk of canine obesity.

Foods that dogs could nibble on

If you must spoil your dog, there are a few holiday scraps that would be ok, keep in mind that although these foods are technically dog safe, they may not be ideal for your dogs digestive system and should only be given in moderation.

  • Turkey or meat (remove the fat and skin)
  • Cheese
  • Peanut Butter

Be sure to keep an eye on your guests and your pets and discourage them from treating your dog to leftovers. One bite of food from everyone is likely enough to overwhelm your dogs digestive system and make them sick, so unless your friends and family are sticking around to clean up the mess…keep an eye on those who like to sneak a treat to your dog on the sly.

To keep your holidays happy and your pets safe, make a note of the holiday hours for your primary vet and have the contact information on hand for emergency veterinarian services during the holidays. If you’re unsure about what food(s) are safe (or not) for your dog or have concerns about your dogs diet you should consult your vet.


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