As the times change, so must we. Much like the realization that the humans natural diet should consist of whole, healthy, unprocessed foods, we are learning that our dogs diets should be similar. And just like modern humans, pets are experiencing obesity, high and higher rates of chronic, degenerative disease. As we evolve and learn more around what a dogs natural diet should ideally look like, we want to be sure that the information we provide to you, our supporters, is a reflection of those changes.
A recent poll on petMD indicated that 56% of pet owners admitted to sharing Thanksgiving table scraps with their pets. While this can be a wonderful way to celebrate the Holidays with your 4 legged fur babies, there may be some hidden dangers in that holiday fare. Before preparing a plateful for your pup, please consider some simple tips when you’ve made the decision to share some leftover. As always, we recommend that you consult your veterinarian before transitioning your dog permanently to a non- commercial diet or prior to giving them table scraps.
Avoid any item that you know will upset your dogs stomach. Not every dog tolerates food in the same manner and some have food allergies or sensitivities so be careful and keep leftovers to small quantities. (less than 10-15% of their daily caloric intake) Only you know what your pet has done well with in the past and if your pet is accustomed to your home cooking.
No onions, leeks, garlic, scallions. No avocado, raisins, grapes, real milk or dark chocolate, caffeine, coffee, alcohol, or xylitol artificial sweetener (common replacement for sugar in processed foods)
Steer clear of certain foods and limit any intake of dairy, cheese, milk, butter, sour cream, breads and yeasty doughs.
One rule of thumb is that if the food isn’t good for you, it isn’t good for your dog. The key to remember is; don’t feed your dog what you shouldn’t eat yourself. We all know some of you out there love the skin and fat of a turkey leg but, again, it is about what is healthy and what you SHOULD BE eating, not what you ARE eating.
Below are some of the traditional items prepared around Thanksgiving with a few tips on what is likely OK in small quantities and what isn’t.
Turkey- White meat Turkey can be a wonderful lean protein for your dog. Just be sure to remove any skin, fat or bones.
Green beans and Corn- Fresh vegetables are a great addition to any diet. If the green beans are included in a green bean casserole though, be conscious of the other ingredients it was made with. Best to stick to some steamed or roasted vegetables and be sure to keep any corn cobbs out of reach from the dogs.
Mashed Potatoes- Potatoes are a good, filling vegetable for most pets. Even though they are generally fine by themselves, again be conscious of the other ingredients used to make mashed potatoes. Dairy isn’t recommended for a pet’s diet so either dish these up in a very small portion or maybe try mashing those spuds with some almond milk this year.
Cranberry Sauce- Homemade cranberry sauce is probably just fine for your dog but again be conscious of the sugar in it. It’s bet to only add a small dollop on your pet’s plate or a little schmear to top off the stuffed kong.
Bread and Dinner rolls- These can cause gas to accumulate in your dog’s digestive system, can be painful and cause bloat which can be life threatening. We recommend you steer clear of bread all together but if Ace snatches a roll off of the table, it likely wouldn’t be concern for alarm.
Pumpkin pie- Just like Cranberry sauce, watch the sugar. A slice is probably too much but one bite off of your fork is likely not a big deal.
Lastly, be sure to keep those counter surfers at bay and out of the trash. The last thing anyone wants is for them to get into some of those harmful foods, put them at risk and be required to make a trip to the vet. Stay safe and Happy Holidays from all of us at All Points West GSP Rescue!
ASPCA. People Foods to avoid feeding your pets. Retrieved from
petMD. Top ten tips for feeding pets Thanksgiving leftovers. Retrieved from