By, David Vilallonga, DVM, MS, PhD, CVA

Can my pet enjoy Thanksgiving too?

The clear answer is YES! They can have a good time and share this special day with the rest of the family as long as we take simple steps to keep our furry family members safe from the most typical ailment after this memorable banquet: gastrointestinal disturbances, and by that I basically mean vomiting and/or diarrhea.

I know, I am a pet owner too. How can you say no to your pet when they put those big, round eyes begging for a piece of delicious turkey with gravy or any of the mouth-watering appetizers sitting on the table? Well, the problem is that their gastrointestinal system is not used to eating those very earthy, high fat (yep, let’s be honest), hard-to-digest foods. So, in most of the occasions, the consequence is a bacterial overgrowth that takes around 2 to 6 hours to develop causing diarrhea and sometimes vomiting as well, not to mention some cases of pancreatic inflammation.

Ok, I get it. I just presented the problem, any solution in sight? Just say no to your pet and deal with him/her hanging around the table waiting for anything to fall onto the floor? I will help you with that, and I will give you a list of typical Thanksgiving foods that you can safely give to your pets that will not cause a problem in most occasions (just to make it clear again, in most occasions!):

  • Turkey (boneless and well cooked, no skin, no gravy)
  • Sweet potatoes (small amount or they will need to go to the bathroom quickly)
  • Pumpkin puree (same as with sweet potatoes, small amount)
  • Green beans
  • Carrots
  • Apples (take out the seeds)

Stick to the list and your four-legged family members will enjoy this wonderful time of the year as much as you do!