Any holiday centered around food is bound to be an exciting one for dogs. In addition to the extra sets of petting hands milling about the house, there is also an entire bird on the table.
Sharing Thanksgiving with your four-legged pal is a definite 'do' – but with so many dogs ending up in the vet's office after Turkey Day, it's important to also think about the 'don'ts'. To make sure your favorite companion isn't one of the countless dogs who come down with digestive issues or canine pancreatitis following Thanksgiving, be aware of potentially harmful foods.
Keep in mind the following hazards to ensure your pooch stays healthy.
1. Left out leftovers: Many dogs don't necessarily get sick from being fed directly -- they get sick because they climb up on the table and eat large quantities of food when humans aren't around.
2. Food no-nos: Don't give your dog turkey skin, poultry bones, onions, grapes, or raisins. These and other foods are actually harmful and/or toxic to dogs.
3. Dental damagers: Avoid giving your dog plastic bones, ice cubes, antlers, and bully sticks. All of them can cause painful doggy tooth fractures.
How to include your pup in the day
So, what can you do when your four-legged pal gives you the puppy dog eyes from under the Thanksgiving table? If you're like most dog-parents, saying 'no' isn't easy.
The good news is that unless your dog has allergies, most Thanksgiving staples are okay for dogs to eat in moderation.
White meat turkey is generally the safest thing on the table that can be fed to dogs – just be sure to avoid the skin.
Dog treats also keep them occupied
Another great way to make sure your dog feels happy and included is to keep a treat on hand. Dental chews and other treats made for dogs keep them busy and have none of the hazards of human holiday foods.
So, before adjourning to the living room to watch football, be sure to clear off the table to avoid the possibility of Fido doing something he'll regret later. No dog wants to spend the day after Thanksgiving in the vet's office.