What foods can you give your dog for Thanksgiving?

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — With Thanksgiving around the corner, you might be wondering what leftovers you can safely give your pup.

“Thanksgiving tends to coincide with an increase in vet visits due to dogs being fed unsafe human foods,” says the American Kennel Club (AKC).

The AKC, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and several veterinarians, including “The Ultimate Pet Health Guide: Breakthrough Nutrition and Integrative Care for Dogs and Cats”, author by Dr. Gary Richter, MS, DVM, small animal and veterinarian exotic in Texas Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM, and Chief Veterinarian of the American Kennel Club, emergency and critical care veterinarian, and valued member of the Chicago veterinary community for over 35 years, Dr. Jerry Klein, share some safe and dangerous items for your pet this holiday season.

Safe and healthy foods to feed your dog on Thanksgiving:

  • Sweet potatoes
    • “Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and beta-carotene,” says Dr. Richter. “Sweet potato treats can be as simple as one chew of dehydrated sweet potato.” Remember not to feed your pet sweet potatoes with added ingredients.
  • Potatoes
    • You can enjoy both types of potatoes, and your dog can have that option too. However, give only boiled or baked potatoes without butter, sour cream, salt or pepper, and serve sparingly.
  • Apples
    • “Apples are full of vitamins A and C and contain plenty of quality fiber, making them a healthy Thanksgiving treat for your pet,” says Dr. Richter. “However, if you share an apple with your dog, be sure to cut around the core, as large amounts of apple seeds can be toxic.”
  • Turkey meat (without bones or skin)
    • For those wondering if dogs can eat turkey on Thanksgiving, the answer is yes. The main course can be offered “as long as it has not been prepared with seasoning”, says Dr. Ochoa. In addition to avoiding bones, as noted above, Dr. Klein also advises owners not to feed the skin. The outer layer of poultry has likely been prepared with butter, spices, or other fatty ingredients that could cause pancreatitis or other problems for your dog.
  • Green beans
    • “With high amounts of plant fiber, manganese, and vitamins C and K, plain green beans are great for dogs,” says Dr. Richter. The key here, as with turkey, sweet potatoes, and the other options mentioned in this list, is that the bean dish should be plain, with no added ingredients like butter or spices.
  • Peas
    • Plain peas are a good choice, but cream peas should be avoided. Fattier foods like peas in cream can upset your dog’s stomach.
  • Pumpkin
  • Dessert
    • Dessert is an option, but not just any. Go ahead and satisfy your pet’s sweet tooth with something healthy like frozen yogurt (without artificial sweeteners like xylitol, which is toxic to dogs), suggests Dr. Richter. Calcium, protein and live bacteria that can act as probiotics will give your dog a tasty dose of nutrients and a sweet post-meal treat.

Dangerous and unhealthy foods to avoid feeding your dog(s) on Thanksgiving:

The AKC also wants to remind dog and pet owners to keep trash cans out of reach, as smells from the day’s meal can be tempting to furry friends.

If your dog gets into something he shouldn’t have, the AKC says to seek help immediately. You can call the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661 ($75 fee applies) or an area veterinarian who offers after-hours services.

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