On occasion, the remnants of a Thanksgiving meal end up in the bowl of a beloved pet, and while the occasional piece of turkey or bit of sweet potato can be a sweet treat for a dog, there are some staple Thanksgiving foods that can be harmful to man’s best friend.
Dr. Leigh Deal from Beckley Veterinary Hospital explained that it’s not so simple as to list what foods a dog can have and what foods it cannot.
“There are many animals that simply cannot tolerate human food or abrupt changes in the food they consume,” Dr. Deal stated.
There are some foods with additional spices, butter and other ingredients that a dog cannot have no matter their tolerance to human food. This includes chocolate, corn on the cob, mushrooms, nuts, onion, garlic, nutmeg, turkey skin, turkey bones, stuffing, gravy, sage, bread dough, fat trimmings, butter and alcohol.
Dr. Deal says small bits of apple, which are full of vitamins A and C and contain lots of great fiber, would be okay to feed most dogs. Baked sweet potato without butter or sugar, small amounts of skinless and boneless light meat turkey, and green beans without seasoning are also okay.
Additionally, cats should be able to handle small amounts of turkey.
Before sharing any leftovers, a pet owner should be aware of what foods their pet can tolerate. Pets who already have gastrointestinal issues should remain on their regular or prescription diet.
“I would recommend great caution when offering table foods,” said Dr. Deal. “It’s one of the most common reasons we see a patient…inflammatory bowel issues occur often, and pancreatitis is also a high risk here.”
If your pet does eat something it shouldn’t have, diarrhea and vomiting are going to be the number one symptoms that something has gone wrong, according to Dr. Deal.
If there is a question or uncertainty about what an animal has eaten, its always best to call your veterinarian and ask. In the event of an emergency, contact the Pet Poison Helpline or your local veterinarian.