During the holidays, we all get to spend time with our loved ones and eat some yummy roast turkey. You might be wondering if your canine companions can join in on that feast. In moderation, some plain, boneless and lean roast turkey is certainly OK to share with your pooch.
Lean Not Mean
That roasted turkey doesn't just smell and taste good to us, it also tempts the nose and taste buds of our canine companions. Before you chop off a piece of that mouth-watering bird, remove any skin and excess fat from the meat. Turkey fat can potentially cause stomach upset for your pooch and even lead to a life-threatening condition called pancreatitis, according to the ASPCA. For this reason, avoid topping your pup's serving of turkey with any fat-filled gravies or overly rich mashed potatoes containing butter and cream.
No Bones About It
Cooked turkey bones may seem like a tempting thing to let your dog play with, but those bones can easily splinter and damage your pooch's intestines, leading to a potentially fatal situation. They're also a choking hazard for your pup. Always cut small pieces of turkey directly from the bird, checking for bones or bone shards before giving it to your pup. Take precautions at the end of the meal with the turkey carcass as well. A hungry pooch may try to make off with the remains of the bird when everyone is distracted with full bellies and heads out of the dining room. Immediately remove any leftovers and put them in the refrigerator. Clean off everyone's plates of bones and any pieces of the turkey carcass, placing them in a covered garbage can that's inaccessible to your pup.
Seasonings, stuffing and spices make the turkey more tempting to us, but they aren't necessary or even very desirable to please your pup's palette. Herbs like sage can cause tummy upset for your pooch and garlic is potentially toxic to him in larger amounts, according to Dogster. Avoid giving your dog onions, raisins or grapes, all of which you might find in your turkey's seasonings, gravies or stuffing. These foods cause an upset stomach and are potentially toxic to your pooch, according to petMD.
The Pup's Table
Why not consider making pup-specific portions of turkey for your canine companion, especially if you have more than one or any of your loved ones plan on bringing some pooches along to your celebration? This way, you won't have to worry about harmful seasonings, bones or spices harming your furry friends. Purchase some low-fat, low-sodium turkey breast and roast it along with your own bird. Cut the meat into cubes after removing any skin, and serve it with some unseasoned, cubed boiled potatoes or sweet potatoes for a canine feast. Serve the meal in doggie bowls in an area dedicated to pooches. Not only will this satisfy your pups' appetites, but it'll keep them away from the table while you enjoy your holiday meal in peace.
While it's OK for your pup to partake of a little roast turkey and even some veggie trimmings if they're free of seasonings and fat, you may notice that after his meal, your pup might experience some mild tummy upset. These foods are a bit richer than he's used to, so a bit of upset is normal, but vomiting, loose stools and lethargy could mean he's ingested something during the meal that he shouldn't have. Visit the vet if you're concerned.
- WebMD: 'People' Foods Your Dog Can Eat
- Dogster: Is Turkey Bad for Dogs?
- Dogster: Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Dog Owners
- ASPCA: Thanksgiving Safety Tips
- Reader's Digest: Thanksgiving Safety Tips
- PetPlace.com: Thanksgiving Dangers: Tips to Prevent Common Problems in Your Dog
- PetMD: Top Ten Tips for Feeding Pets Thanksgiving Leftovers
- Pedigree: Thanksgiving Hazards And Your Dog
- WebMD: Pancreatitis in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatments
- Dogster: Poisonous Plants and Foods for Dogs
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.