While most pet owners consider their pets to be a part of their family, the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) would like to remind everyone that most Thanksgiving food is only safe for your two-legged guests. Please consider the following list of what and what not to do with your pets during the holiday break. Together we can work to ensure that your Thanksgiving festivities are not interrupted with a trip to the vet:
Keep food and drinks out of the reach of your domestic animals. Be sure especially to keep chocolate and other desserts away from your pet’s reach.
Turkey bones can be deadly for pets. Turkey bones have splinters that can easily puncture a dog or cat’s internal organs. If you wish to share some of the turkey meat with your pets, make sure the meat is boneless. Turkey can be a wonderful lean protein, you will just want to be sure to remove any excess skin or fat, stick with white meat, and make sure there are no bones.
The best time to feed your pets (their own food) during this holiday is when you are about to sit down for your Thanksgiving meal. You can keep your pets busy during the interim by providing them with a toy or rawhide stuffed with treats.
Of course, there are some Thanksgiving dishes that are safe for our pets, such as mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. However, many times additional ingredients are used in recipes that can be forgotten about by the time the dishes hit the table.
Nothing with alliums (i.e., onions, garlic, leeks, and scallions) should be ingested by your pet. They can lead to toxic anemia if eaten in a large quantity. As a reminder, always keep your pet’s license current. A current license and ID tag (affixed to your pet’s collar) is the only voice a pet has if he or she becomes lost during the busy holiday.
DIY Thanksgiving Treats for Pets!
Check out these easy-to-make, festive treats for your pets (courtesy of ASCPA).
Pumpkin Pie Stuffing
1/2 cup canned or freshly cooked pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup yogurt or cottage cheese (only use plain)
1/2 cup cooked oatmeal
2 tablespoons low-fat graham cracker
- Put a spoonful of cooked oatmeal at the bottom of a Kong or other toy to seal the small hole.
- Put two spoonfuls of pumpkin into the toy. Follow with a spoonful of yogurt or cottage cheese.
- Repeat, layering the pumpkin and yogurt or cottage cheese until the toy is almost full. Then cram a few pieces of graham cracker into the end of the toy. Serve warm or frozen.
Pumpkin Pie Cookies (for cats and dogs!)
2 cups rice flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup unsweetened plain applesauce
1/4 flour for rolling
- In a food processor blend carrots, applesauce and pumpkin until smooth.
- Mix rice flour and oatmeal in a bowl.
- Add wet ingredients to the dry and mix gently until dough forms.
- On a floured breadboard place dough and roll out to about 1/4 inch in thickness.
- Use cookie cutter to cut out little cookies.
- Place cookies on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for seven minutes.
- Flip treats over and cook for five more minutes. Remove from oven and cool thoroughly.
Remember, these recipes are treats and should not replace your pet’s regular meals. Please check with your veterinarian if your pet has special dietary needs or food allergies.