Thanksgiving is here - the feast of all feasts to most! It’s one of those rare occasions when we can allow ourselves a day of indulgent eating. The festive mood might also make us feel more indulgent toward our beloved cat or canine companion. When Fido gives us that adorable, pleading look, or when kitty purrs and rubs her face against our leg, how can we resist giving them a delectable treat from our plate?
Well, we won’t have to resist, and we won’t have to deny them their own Thanksgiving feast. We can create a safe and scrumptious Thanksgiving plate for our fuzzy friends so they can also be a genuine part of this wonderful holiday. And we don’t even have to worry about buying extra-special ingredients or doing extra work in the kitchen. Chances are, we already have everything we need for our feline friend or canine companion’s very own Thanksgiving feast!
Here’s a savory list of pet-friendly Thanksgiving treats for our pets:
Turkey breast. This is the only part of your Thanksgiving turkey that you can give to your dog or cat, and only if they don’t have any food allergies. Don’t give them the skin, fatty parts, trimmings, stuffing, or gravy. If we can prepare our pet’s turkey breast separately, simply boiled and with no seasonings, all the better! Remember, garlic, onions, and other seasonings are dangerous and toxic for our fur-babies. It’s also important to remember that any kind of meat is a big no-no for Yorkshire Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers, and Shetland Sheepdogs, as they are highly prone to pancreatitis. Feeding these meats to these breeds will significantly increase their risk.
Gravy. Fido or Mr. Socks can still enjoy some gravy on their turkey if we’ve used canned gravy made especially for dogs and cats. Yes, they exist. We can also make a thick, low-sodium broth and use that as gravy. They won’t know that it isn’t the same gravy we are adding to our own plates, and they’ll love that they are getting something special.
Vegetables. Sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, and pumpkin are all healthy and will create a delicious medley of flavors and textures our pets will definitely enjoy. Plus, they’re healthy! And unlike many kiddos, our fur-babies often love a few veggies on their plate. Simply steam or boil the vegetables until soft, and serve them without any seasonings. Small portions of each will be enough. Otherwise, they might still get sick from overeating or the sudden change in diet. A vegetable puree with some low-sodium broth for hydration can also be a delicious, nutritious dish.
Fruits. Apples and cranberries are Thanksgiving staples, and these can be on our furry pals’ plate! Mash the apples or slice them into bite-size pieces. They are the purrfect treat. Just add a small amount of cranberry sauce, as some dogs and cats do not like the bittersweet taste.
Bread. In small amounts, bread can a great snack for Rover and Ms. Kitty Fantastico. That’s assuming they don’t have a gluten or wheat intolerance. For those of us who bake our own bread, we need to make sure to keep our pets away from the dough because the sugar and yeast can cause severe bloating, gas, and hypoglycemia.
Salmon. This is a treat that’s especially preferred by our feline friends, although the fatty acids are great for our fuzzy canine’s coat too. Serve it steamed and unseasoned.
Put all of these foods together on a special paw and whisker-friendly plate to create a mouthwatering Thanksgiving feast. Just remember to only serve small portions of each. Our pets are used to eating only a certain amount of food every day and stick to a typical type of food. Feeding them more than the usual amount in one sitting can make them sick. And be aware that their digestive system will love the extra infusion of healthful morsels, it will also be called upon to digest different, which means there may be some small changes to their stools. For those of us who want to be extra careful not to tax our fur-baby’s digestive systems, we can divide the food onto two plates to feed them several hours apart. That is a more gentle way to give them a feat, without taxing their systems.
It will be best to give them their Thanksgiving plate at the same time everybody else also sits down to eat. That will help keep them from being restless, roaming around, and begging for food. Don’t forget to remind guests, especially the kids, to avoid feeding Fido or Whiskers food from their own plates. Let them know the pets will be feasting on their own yummy Thanksgiving spread.
One of the things we are definitely always thankful for is the loyalty and affection of our furry pals. The tradition of sharing a delightful feast with our loved ones should also include our furry companions. But the last thing we would want is to make our dog or cat sick because they were fed the wrong food scraps, and then to have to rush them to a vet hospital because vet offices are closed for the holiday.
Make sure this coming Thanksgiving will be a joyous festivity, and not a stressful one for both you and your trusting canine or feline friend by including their own Thanksgiving plates when you make plans for your Thanksgiving cornucopia.
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