Keeping Your Senior Dog Safe Over Thanksgiving

Cindy SmithDog Holidays, Senior Dogs


Can you smell it? The aroma of pumpkin and apple pies, the smell of turkey and stuffing, the laughter of family gathered together. Although Thanksgiving is a great time to give extra love to your dog, it’s not the best time to give him certain foods. Unfortunately, our Thanksgiving feast is riddled with a high sugar and fat content that can be bad for your dog. It’s important to keep your senior dog safe over Thanksgiving.

No worries … we’ll make some suggestions that your dog can safely eat!

If you are having guests over, it’s important they understand they should not feed your dog table scraps. If they do, your dog could have a severe stomachache or worse, and you don’t want to rush to the emergency vet on a holiday. This will cost you double and ruin your holiday plans. Many vets report a major increase in pancreatitis and gastrointestinal upset right after Thanksgiving.

So, what traditional Thanksgiving foods are good for your dog to eat?

What about the Thanksgiving turkey?
Most meat is safe for dogs, and many dog foods include turkey. It’s the way that the Thanksgiving turkey is prepared versus the turkey itself that makes it dangerous for dogs. Plain, unseasoned turkey is fine for dogs. Seasoned turkey covered in skin and covered in butter and oil is NOT good for dogs. Also, turkey bones can be very brittle and splinter, so keep these away from your dogs.

Can dogs have stuffing?
Unfortunately, stuffing usually contains onions, garlic, scallions, and various spices, all of which are bad for your dog.

Can dogs eat sweet or mashed potatoes?
Once again, many dog foods contain sweet potatoes. In moderation, sweet potatoes are good for dogs. It’s all the yummy ingredients we include in them at Thanksgiving – the marshmallows, butter and sugar – that make them bad for your dog. The same holds true for mashed potatoes that contain butter, cheese, sour cream and gravy. A great compromise is to give your dog some plain, roasted baking or sweet potatoes prepared especially for him.

Can dogs eat cranberries?
Everyone loves Grandma’s homemade cranberry sauce. Usually dogs don’t like cranberries because they are so tart, but plain cranberries are okay, while cranberry sauce is a no no.

Can dogs eat pumpkin pie?
My favorite part of Thanksgiving is the desserts! This delicious, seasonal dessert is toxic to your dog because of the sugar, spices and whipped cream. Your dog can eat a small amount of cooked or canned plain pumpkin puree, but know it will increase your pet’s regularity, so that may mean more bathroom breaks.

Can dogs eat rolls?
Dogs cannot have raw yeast bread dough. When a dog or cat ingests raw bread dough, the yeast continues to convert the sugars in the dough to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol. The result is a bloated dog.

Don’t forget to take the garbage outside as soon as dinner is over, or the dog may get into it.

Think about preparing your dog a special plate with unseasoned turkey, plain green beans, plain potatoes and a scoop of plain canned pumpkin. It may seem plain to you but will be a special treat to your dog! Your chow hounds will chow down.

HelpEmUp wants you to keep your senior dog safe over Thanksgiving so you all can enjoy the holiday.