With social distancing, many of us will be celebrating Thanksgiving this year at home with our pets.  A popular question we get this time of year is…”Can my pet have Thanksgiving table scraps?”

Some pets have special dietary needs, so always check with your vet first, but there are some general feastly foods that are usually okay to share.  It all depends on what and how much!

Our pets’ digestive systems are different from ours, and too much fat or salt can cause vomiting or diarrhea and possibly lead to painful pancreatitis.  Check out the list on the right for foods to avoid giving your pet.

Most pets can indulge in a SMALL amount of a single ingredient “safe” food though as a Thanksgiving treat:

  • Lean bits of turkey, chicken, beef, pork, salmon, fish, egg
  • Raw veggies like carrots, celery, lettuce, cabbage hearts, green beans, broccoli, peas, cooked veggies with no butter or salt
  • Plain raw pumpkin, blueberries, apples, cantaloupe
  • Yogurt, cottage cheese, peanut butter–but give sparingly as it is oily and high in calories.

As for treats on regular non-holidays, our pet’s bodies are much smaller than ours so it’s easy to give them too many calories causing weight gain.  Ideally give treats that add up to no more than 10% of your pet’s daily caloric requirements.

A note for cat owners:  Cats need about 95% meat in their diet – only 5% vegetable matter.  It’s best to stick with an occasional treat of meat, poultry or egg for our feline friends.

It’s important to note that HOW you give your pet treats matters too!  Giving treats from the table can encourage begging. Consider giving them a healthy table scrap in their own food bowl, rather than from the table, and as a treat for good behavior or obedience.

Including our furry, four-legged friends this Thanksgiving can be an enjoyable celebration with knowledge of the do’s and don’ts of feeding them table scraps.

NEVER give these toxic foods to dogs or cats!

Raisins or grapes
Macadamia nuts
High sodium foods (like bacon!)
Chewing gum
Artificial sweeteners like xylitol
Raw meat