Our pets are family and while they should not have table scraps from your Thanksgiving feast, there is no reason to exclude them in your holiday celebration! Here is a small list of treats for your pets; perfect for holidays and year-round.
*If any of the suggestions listed below are new to you and your pet, please contact your vet or pet care professional to make sure said food(s) are a good fit for your fur-baby.
1. Fruits and Veggies
Not all pets can eat meat, such as most pocket pets (gerbils, hamsters, rodents, etc). Pocket pets can have small treats occasionally, but as with any treat for any pet, it’s best to dish treats out sparingly. In general, raw vegetables like carrots and broccoli are fine to give a small rodents, so when you’re preparing your Thanksgiving meal, save a few pieces for your pet. Pet birds also love fresh veggies and fruits, including cooked sweet potatoes and cranberries, which are common staples on many Thanksgiving tables. Cooked vegetables like pumpkins, sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, and peas are terrific options for cats and dogs, too…just make sure you prepare your pet’s veggies and squash plain.
2. Chews and Bones
You know that turkey bones are a major no-no for Fido but bones from your butcher, or vegetable chews (such as dehydrated sweet potatoes, etc) for sensitive chewers, are a great option! Two great local places that I know of to get bones for your dog are Sheridan’s Fruit Co (off MLK in SE Portland) and Gartners Meat Market (off Killingsworth in NE Portland). Since my own pup has sensitive teeth, I like to fill her Kong with something yummy and then partially freeze the Kong (this helps the goodies inside last longer), offer her dehydrated sweet potatoes, or a fleece/rope toy that has been marinated in low sodium broth and dried.
3. Turkey Time
Yes, we said earlier that table scraps from your feast are out, but if you simply MUST give kitten or pup some turkey, do it wisely and conservatively! Take care to remove any and all skin and bones, and avoid serving your pet any turkey that’s been sitting out longer than two hours; this helps detour the risk of salmonella poisoning. Skinless, boneless turkey can be a great treat for most cats and dogs when given in small amounts. Cut up a few pieces and add it to your dog’s regular food, or mix with some of those plain veggies you’ve cooked up. For kitties, try pureeing the turkey with a little sweet potato or pumpkin and adding it to their regular food or let them have as is. And if you’ve ever wondered what to do with turkey giblets, boiling and chop them up for kitty or pup.
Also, if you have time to cook special treats for your pets, please look through our archive for pet tested and approved wholesome recipes for both cats and dogs.
Happy Thanksgiving all!