Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and pumpkin pie are traditional Thanksgiving foods that many will eat this week. Leftovers and scraps can pile up after the holidays and can be tempting for those wanting to share them with pets, but some foods can be harmful to our furry friends.
“The biggest ones you want to make sure you avoid is like sweets or anything with artificial sweetener is not good for pets at all,” said Aubrey Silvey, St. Joseph Animal Shelter humane educator. “Breads are really bad also because they cause bloat and hurt the stomach in both cats and dogs.”
Turkey also can cause an upset stomach or even pancreatitis in pets because of its high fat content. And beware of tossing bones to dogs.
“A lot of people think it is natural for dogs to eat bones, but it is not, they are not wild animals anymore,” Silvey said. “These cause intestinal blockage, so it’s best to get rid of them as quickly as possible.”
Some other foods to avoid are seasoned skins, stuffing, mashed potatoes, nuts, pumpkin pie and corn on the cob.
Another problem people often run into is keeping pets away from the table food altogether.
“You can use items like canned chicken and broth and then freeze it in a Kong (pet toy),” Silvey said. “Then that’ll keep your pet pretty busy for quite a while and that won’t hurt them.”
Sugar-free pumpkin puree and unseasoned veggies are safe foods for pets, she said.
Finally, Thanksgiving can be a stressful day for everyone, so it is important to be safe and make sure dogs or cats have a tag on in case it gets outside.