Thanksgiving Food for Animal Companions

Here in the US, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving this week, kicking off a month of holiday indulging. Ask any vet, and they will tell you that this time of year is hell on the bellies of animal companions. Whether on purpose or by accident, pets end up eating things that are all wrong for them.


Our friends at weighed in on popular holiday foods for dogs and cats. Here is what they advise:

  • Turkey- Lean, boneless turkey is fine in moderation. Absolutely not skin, fat or bones.

  • Stuffing- Not recommended due to the possibility of onions and garlic.

  • Mashed Potatoes- Spuds get a green light, in moderation, of course.

  • Gravy- Pass on the gravy. Your babies don't need the high salt and fat in most gravies.

  • Green bean casserole- Green beans are fine, but those crunchy little french fried onions on top are definitely not.

  • Pumpkin Pie- All of that sugar is not cool, but you may consider saving a bit of plain canned pumpkin to share. Dogs love it and it is really good for them.

  • Some obvious no nos are alcohol, chocolate and raisins. It is never worth the risk to their delicate little systems.

  • If you know that your pets are prone to stomach issues, food allergies or chronic health issues, stick to their regular food. Consider giving them a new toy instead of a treat. 


A few things to think about, especially if you are hosting:

  • Keep food covered and/or put away. You know dang well that Mittens will be on the counter and in the middle of that turkey carcass the second your back is turned.

  • Keep an eye on the trash. Plenty of pets have gotten into trouble raiding the garbage can while no one was looking. Their gobble gobble could land them in the vets office.

  • Make sure that your guests know the rules about feeding or not feeding your animal companions. Just because you know better than to give Rusty a bite of chocolate pie or a turkey leg does not mean that Grandma does.

  • All of that holly jolly fun might stress your pets out. Way out. Be sure that they have safe escape rooms to get away from the melee. No animals should be forced to allow guests to hold or pet them. Guests should be advised that if the cats want to meet you, they will seek you out. Otherwise, please leave them alone.



Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope that you and your animal companions get to have some time to relax and enjoy each other's company this week.