While Thanksgiving may be a smaller celebration this year than most, many families are still ramping up to create a holiday feast everyone can enjoy.
For families with furry friends joining the party, it’s important to follow some safety tips to keep your pets happy and healthy.
Foods Your Pets Shouldn’t Eat on Thanksgiving (or any day of the year!)
We know… those big eyes staring up at you. It’s practically impossible to ignore an animal that wants a taste of your meal. Many foods are safe to share with your dogs and cats (we’ll discuss those later), but you need to know what “treats” could make your pet sick or worse.
Here are some typical Thanksgiving delicacies to keep off your pet’s plate:
Stuffing – often made with onions, this is a no-no for your pets.
Turkey scraps (bones and fat) – fatty foods can cause gastrointestinal distress and inflammation of the pancreas, while poultry bones can splinter and irritate or even worse, pierce the esophagus or gastric lining.
Gravy – high in fat.
Mashed Potatoes – loaded with butter (if you make them right), thus high in fat.
Salads with Grapes or Raisins – poisonous to dogs (cats don’t usually touch them) and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and kidney failure.
Chocolate, Xylitol, and Macadamia Nuts – poisonous to cats and dogs, theobromine found in chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and potentially seizures and coma. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that causes a dangerous drop in blood sugar and sometimes liver failure and collapse can be incredibly fast for your pet. Macadamia nuts can cause weakness in the back legs, vomiting, diarrhea, and potentially paralysis.
Yeast Dough – raw dough can cause painful gas and dangerous (potentially life-threatening) bloat. It can also make your dog appear “drunk.”
Alcohol – while it’s not a food, adult beverages will likely find their way onto your holiday table. Make sure they don’t end up in your pet’s bowl to avoid vomiting, falling blood pressure, loss of coordination, and drunk-dialing their exes.
Hazards to Avoid
While your dinner table can be a source of danger for your pets, there are other hazards to be aware of this holiday season. (And the rest of the year!)
Just because you didn’t give your pet the foods mentioned above doesn’t mean they won’t help themselves. Cats and tall dogs have the option of counter-surfing for their snacks, whereas shorter dogs will have to wait patiently for delicious snacks to enter the trash. Don’t leave your pets alone in the kitchen while you are prepping or cleaning up after the meal. Even if you are with them, a moment of distraction can give Fluffy the time he needs to make the grab. If possible, keep your pets out of the kitchen entirely.
You’ll also want to make sure your trash is in a solid trash bin that can’t be open or tipped over. Better yet, store it under the counter in a closed cabinet or in the garage where pets can’t see it or reach it.
Visitors Coming and Going
Holidays can be a busy time with guests entering and exiting the house. Make sure that outside gates are kept closed, and pets are kept leashed or away from the door when people are coming or going.
Make sure that your pets are all microchipped and have collars and tags prior to the day-of so they can be returned safely if they do somehow get out.
If you’ve got guests coming, make sure they know the rules of the house when it comes to your pets. They shouldn’t be feeding your fur babies without asking, and no feminine hygiene products should be thrown in bathroom trash cans where paws can reach them.
From your holiday centerpiece to any décor that is placed around the home or in the front or backyard, you may not think it’s edible, but your dog or cat doesn’t agree. Many popular holiday plants are toxic to dogs and cats and can cause anything from stomach upset to even death. Keep decorations out of reach of fur kids and make sure they are never left alone with anything that can be chewed or swallowed or could cause shocks or other accidents. If you’ve got a cat, opt for flameless candles, so their tails don’t end up singed.
Creating a Holiday Menu for your Fur Babies
Pets are family, and we completely understand wanting to include them in holiday celebrations. A little preplanning will go a long way to keeping them healthy this season.
Here are a few delicious items that can become a part of your pup’s special menu. Keep in mind that while the basic foods are healthy for your animals, the sugary, spiced up, fat-laden versions are not. If you’re cooking at your house, put some foods aside while you’re cooking so they can be prepared plain.
For your pup’s dessert, stop into Mooch’s Munchies, a Las Vegas Dog Bakery and buy a box of our Pupkin Pies. Pie shaped cookies that are made with our super yummy pumpkin recipe and just waiting for a dollop of whipped cream or some nonfat organic Greek yogurt. Your dogs will be thankful for you! (If you don’t live in the Las Vegas area, all of our treats can be ordered online and shipped directly to your door.)
The Thanksgiving holiday should be filled with family, friends, and fur babies. This year for some of us, our fur babies are our only dinner guests. Make sure they enjoy the day by serving only what will keep them healthy. A little bit of preparation and know-how will make the holiday special. Happy Thanksgiving!
I bet you never thought you’d be reading a blog written by a dog.
Well, I never thought my mom and dad would let me write!
Hi. My name is Mooch, and in honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday, my parents asked me to share what I’m thankful for. Are you ready?
Wait… I have to go bark at the mailman.
Okay, I’m back (got him good too!).
I was one of the lucky ones, I was born into rescue, but my dog mom was not. Thankfully, she was rescued by some nice people at On My Way Home https://www.facebook.com/OnMyWayHomeRescue/ and they took good care of her until I and my siblings were born. Then they introduced me to my mom and dad. Ever since then, my life has been PAWSOME!!!
Humans, if you are thinking of bringing a new animal into your home, please consider adopting. We will spend the rest of our lives thanking you.
My love language is touch… and food. Can food be a love language? Did someone say “food?”
Sorry, I got distracted. Good thing there are no squirrels in here!
My parents give the best cuddles in the world. There’s nothing I love more than laying in the middle of the bed and having them cuddle up all tight against me. Admittedly, that may be because they are trying not to fall off the bed. But it’s still awesome and it shows how much they love me.
My food… my sibling’s food… my parent’s food… food I find on the street and get to before my parents can stop me. I am so grateful for food. I like to follow my mom into the kitchen and do a special roundy roundy happy dance when meals are being prepared. A few years ago, me and my sister got diagnosed with something called Pancreatitis. Mom and Dad wanted us to be healthy dogs and stick around for longer, so they started doing some research. Now, we only get the best foods out there.
Did I mention that I love to eat? Here’s the really cool thing…
I’ve got a dog treat bakery named after me! That’s right. My mom and dad love me soooo much that they started a business for me. They make healthy treats (which I get to taste test) so that my furry friends around the country can have all-natural, healthy dog treats. Plus, they are yummy. It’s called Mooch’s Munchies shop.moochsmunchies.com and you have to check it out!
For Thanksgiving, they’re making Pupkin Pie Treats that are just the best. I can almost taste them…pumpkin, honey, cinnamon… Oh. My. Dog. I’m going to need a minute.
Sometimes, I wish I was an only pup. But I really do love my siblings. Abby, Red, and Neon and I don’t always get along, but we are brothers (and sisters) in fur and we’d do anything for one another. Especially if we hear an noise… or the microwave.
Remember when I said that thing about being an only pup… here’s why. My mom’s lap is so comfy and sometimes, my brother and sisters think that they can lay in it. But it’s mine. She’s my everything and time spent curled up in her lap is the best time of my life.
I may be small, but I am mighty. Nothing makes me more powerful than when I get to hold down the fort at the store. My pawrents said that I don’t understand the difference between “greeter” and “guard dog.” Of course I don’t. I don’t have the most extensive vocabulary… being a dog and all.
What I do know is that if you come near my pawrents (or my food), you’re going to get an earful.
All in all, I’ve got the perfect pup life. How about you? Canines, I’d love to hear what you’re grateful for this holiday season. Can’t type? Ask your pawrents to do it for you. Now, if you’ll excuse me, a batch of cookies just came out of the oven and I’m on call!
Who is our lucky dog this week? Why the Irish Setter of course!
With Sunday being St. Patrick's Day we thought there would be no better time than now to spotlight the beautiful Irish Setter. A majestic looking dog with lots of energy, this breed is perfect for those with an active lifestyle that the dog can participate in, an avid hunter, or those who enjoy a farm life.