Top Ten Tips for Feeding Pets Thanksgiving Leftovers

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Be Prepared When Your Pet Comes Begging

With the holidays approaching, your dog or cat will inevitably be begging to partake in the big turkey dinner. When polled, 56 percent of petMD readers admitted to sharing Thanksgiving table scraps with their pets. While this can be a wonderful way to add lean protein and fresh veggies to your pet’s diet, there are also hidden dangers in holiday fare. This year, before preparing a heaping plateful for your pet, consult a vet and consider these 10 tips to keep Thanksgiving a safe, healthful holiday for your dog or cat.

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#10 Yes to Turkey

Turkey can be a wonderful lean protein to share with your pet. You will just want to be sure to remove any excess skin or fat, stick with white meat, and make sure there are no bones.

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#9 No to Alliums

Nothing with alliums (i.e., onions, garlic, leeks, scallions) should be ingested by your pet. While it is true that small, well-cooked portions of these foods can be okay if your pet is used to it, ingesting these foods in large quantities can lead to toxic anemia.

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#8 Yes to Mashed Potatoes

Potatoes are a great, filling vegetable to share with your pet. However even though the potatoes themselves are not harmful to pets, be aware of additional ingredients used to make mashed potatoes. Cheese, sour cream, butter, onions, and gravies are no-no’s in a pet’s diet.

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#7 No to Grapes

Many people are unaware that grapes, and subsequently raisins, can be toxic to pets. The fruit has been shown to cause kidney failure in dogs.

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#6 Yes to Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is just fine for pets but watch the amount of sugar in it. It is probably best to only provide a small helping to your pet’s plate.

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#5 No to Xylitol

While you may be making the healthier choice by cooking with artificial sweeteners over the real thing, sweeteners containing Xylitol are poisonous to animals, and potentially deadly to dogs.

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#4 Yes to Macaroni and Cheese

If you know your pet’s stomach handles dairy alright, macaroni and cheese is a safe leftover to share. If you are unsure though, it may be best to just give plain macaroni. Cats often develop lactose intolerance when they become adults.

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#3 No to Chocolate

Chocolate is a well known off limits indulgence for pets. During the holidays however, baking chocolate is used in recipes and sometimes forgotten about by the time the dishes hit the table. Make sure this holiday season that your pet does not ingest any chocolate, especially the baking kind.

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#2 Yes to Green Beans

Plain green beans are a wonderful treat for pets. 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 in it.

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#1 No to Alcohol

Alcohol is definitely a big no for pets. What we people may consider a small amount can be toxic for a smaller animal. Also, keep in mind that alcohol poisoning can occur in pets from atypical items like fruit cake (the recipe may have called for rum or other liquor), as well as unbaked bread.

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