Ah, Thanksgiving! It’s a time for loved ones to get together, forget their worries, and focus on the things that really matter. Of course, Thanksgiving is also the perfect occasion for eating up a storm. If you make it to the end of the day without having to loosen your belt at least one notch, did you even really celebrate?
But while you’re feasting and feeling grateful, a special furry someone may be looking up at you with those hopeful puppy dog eyes. Instead of ‘accidentally’ dropping a morsel on the floor, here are a few dog-friendly fine-dining suggestions to help your canine companion join in the fun.
As always, though, just be sure to chop these tasty morsels up to avoid choking, serve them in moderation. Your dog’s standard, complete dog food should always be their main source of nutrition!
Fine dining options for your canine companion
Normal gravy is a cornerstone of every Thanksgiving meal, and it’s no great wonder why. For many of us, gravy is one of the tastiest toppings out there.
Your dog would almost certainly agree. The only issue is that gravy generally isn’t very healthy for dogs, and can cause them to end up with upset stomachs, due to its high salt and fat content.
Luckily, there are dog-friendly alternatives out there, such as Javi’s Gravy Sauce for Dogs. Just mix some canine-safe gravy into your pup’s kibble, for a real gourmet experience they’re bound to feel thankful for.
Plain, skinless, unseasoned turkey
For most human Thanksgiving diners, getting served a slice of white turkey meat with no skin or seasoning would probably be a bit of a disappointment, to say the least.
For dogs, though, this is a real treat – as well as being a far healthier option than rich or fatty cuts of meat, or meat seasoned with spices that may be harmful to our canine companions.
Simply set aside an appropriate cut of turkey before seasoning and cooking your bird, and boil or grill it plain for your dog.
Unseasoned sweet potato
Sweet potatoes are a timeless Thanksgiving staple, usually in the form of casseroles, pies, and other prepared dishes. As you may have noticed at this point in the list, though, ‘prepared dishes’ tend to be a bad fit for dogs, as they usually include at least a few harmful ingredients somewhere in the mix.
Fortunately, plain old sweet potatoes by themselves, free of seasonings, are a healthy treat for your dog. They’re rich in fiber, beta-carotene, vitamins B6 and C, and more.
Boiled or baked potatoes (minus the butter and salt)
The humble potato makes an appearance at just about every dinner table, for just about every celebratory occasion. Luckily, your dog is able to enjoy all that starchy goodness, too – as long as the potato is boiled or baked plain, and served without butter, salt, or other seasonings.
Pumpkin is actually a very healthy treat for your four-pawed friend. It’s rich in nutrients such as vitamins A, C and E, as well as iron and potassium. It’s also a great source of fiber – making it very good for your dog’s digestion. Letting your dog enjoy this healthy morsel could be as easy as tipping some canned pumpkin into their bowl. Just be sure that the pumpkin is un-spiced, first!
Second to turkey, can you think of a more iconic Thanksgiving food than grandma’s apple pie? Neither can we. And the good news is that, if you have any apples left over, they make a great treat for your dog! Keep in mind, though, that you should remove the core from any apples before feeding them to your four-pawed pal, as apple seeds can be toxic in large amounts.
Green beans and peas
Both plain green beans and peas can be tasty, nutritious additions to your dog’s Thanksgiving plate. As always, though, the emphasis is on ‘plain’. Dishes like creamed peas are a whole different story, and can give your dog an upset stomach, or worse.
And for dessert?
Alright, so let’s say your dog has just enjoyed a fantastic feast of plain turkey, potatoes, pumpkin and steamed green beans, with some apple pieces on the side. Now... how about dessert?
It should go without saying that standard human desserts are no good for your dog, and can even do some real harm (we’re looking at you, chocolate). But that doesn’t mean your dog can’t still enjoy something sweet after a meal.
Why not try out a simple, dog-friendly dessert option, like cutting a banana into small pieces, freezing it, and then lightly drizzling it with honey?
Foods to never let near your dog’s dish
Unfortunately, a large number of human foods are either outright toxic to dogs, or at the very least can cause an upset stomach.
Here’s a quick list of some of the worst offenders that you should never let near your dog’s dish…
- Chocolate and foods containing cocoa, like chocolate cake – can be deadly to dogs, due to the stimulant theobromine (highest in dark chocolate)
- Macadamia nuts – poisonous to dogs, and can cause vomiting, weakness and elevated temperature
- Garlic, onions and leeks – these members of the ‘allium family’ can cause damage to a dog’s red blood cells, causing anemia, fatigue, and more
- Caffeine – highly toxic to dogs, even a small amount can cause seizures and may be fatal
- Xylitol – can be deadly to dogs, keep this artificial sweetener far away from your canine friend (including in the form of human products that contain xylitol, e.g., chewing gum), and watch out for it on ingredient labels
Grapes, raisins and sultanas – potentially toxic to dogs, and can cause an upset stomach, kidney problems, and even kidney failure in some dogs
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