Thanksgiving Foods Dogs CAN have!

Thanksgiving 2012 is almost upon us.  This time of the year, countless numbers of pet articles suggest tips for keeping your pets safe around the holidays,  including lists of holiday human foods not to feed your pet.  But did you know, that with a bit of forethought, there are some Thanksgiving foods that are safe to offer your pet in moderation?  So if you have a hard time not giving in to your pooches begging, here are some healthy treat ideas that will make your dog feel like a part of the family during this years' Thanksgiving feast!

Plain Mashed Potatoes: Before you add seasonings like salt, butter, or pepper, set aside a small amount of plain mashed potatoes for your dog.  You can use a few spoon fulls of plain potatoes as a tasty topper to spice up your dog's normal food.  Plain, cooked potatoes are safe for dogs and most of them enjoy the flavor.

Plain Vegetables:  Vegetables, such as carrots, green beans, and squash are also safe for dogs.  However, they should also be offered plain, without things such as seasonings or butter.  Although dogs can eat most vegetables raw, cooking them breaks down the vegetables cell walls and makes them easier for dogs to digest.

Turkey: As long as your pet doesn't have a poultry allergy (Poor Kitsune does!), turkey is actually ok for pets.  Just remember never to feed dogs cooked bones, and avoid feeding cooked turkey skin as it's high in fat.  But a small piece of lean (white) turkey meat mixed in with your pet's normal food shouldn't cause any problems.

Rolls: Plain rolls without any butter are okay to give your dogs in small amounts.

Plain Pumpkin:  Plain canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix) doesn't contain any additives and is safe for dogs.  Make sure to put some aside for your pooch before using it to make pumpkin pie, because pumpkin pie is high in sugar and not good for pets.

And there you have it - a list of common Thanksgiving foods that you can feed your dog!  If you haven't figured it out by now, the key to feeding your pets 'human' food is to only feed plain foods, and to do so in moderation.  This may take a bit of planning on your part, since most human Thanksgiving dishes are served with ample spices and butter.  But it shouldn't be too hard to set aside a bit of plain food for your pup, and your dog will love getting a specially made Thanksgiving dinner just for him!

If you are unsure about whether a certain food is safe for your pet or not, it's always best to err on the side of caution and either opt to feed only foods that you already know are safe, or call your vet and ask about any unknown foods.

Alternatively, if you'd like to make a special treat for your pup this Thanksgiving but would rather not give him/her human Thanksgiving foods, you can consider cooking your pup his own extra special homemade treats!  Check out my cookbook, Cooking with Canines, for homemade treat recipe ideas.  Any of the 30 recipes in my book would make a great Thanksgiving treat for your furry friend, or use tips from the book to create your own unique recipes!

I'd like to wish all my readers a very happy, fun, and safe Thanksgiving!