Gobble, Gobble! Who doesn’t love Thanksgiving and the foods that come with it? You do and your pets no doubt do also. We all know we tend to feed table foods, especially around the holidays. The Apex, NC area residents are both food lovers and animal lovers so “pampered pets” are really an apt description here.
Should Cats and Dogs Eat Thanksgiving Foods?
Yes and no. Older animals of all species have more sensitive digestive systems and some foods should not be given obviously. Pumpkin pie because it is sweet, should be avoided for diabetic cats or dogs.
Same with cranberry sauce unless you make your own unsweetened cranberry sauce. Anything with sugar is not generally a good idea to feed in great quantity as like children there is a “sugar rush” in animals.
Feeding Turkey to Cats and Dogs in the Apex, NC Area
Cats and dogs are carnivores (meat eaters) and they will beg for the turkey or other meats served, even the gravy! Turkey is low-fat protein meat, just like in cat and dog foods, well absorbed and liked by cats and dogs. However, there are cautionary measures.
1. Ensure no bones exist
One problem that many veterinarians see in the Apex, NC area and all over the nation are punctures of the intestines due to “splinter bones. “ No matter how tiny a piece of bone, it can be disastrous once swallowed and can even lodge in the windpipe of a cat or dog, as well as the intestines.
Shred the turkey as small as possible, especially with cats who have very tiny mouth cavities, and run your fingers through it to make sure every piece of bone is removed. All cats and dogs keep eating something delicious even when they feel something inside it. It is their instinct and your job to ensure this does not happen.
2. Feed as little turkey as possible
Gluttony by humans happens at Thanksgiving and our cats and dogs can also become gluttonous. If you want to avoid gastrointestinal problems, take it slow. With any new treat dogs and cats can also eat beyond capacity. Because turkey is served pure at Thanksgiving, too much turkey can even cause allergies, and other symptoms caused by too much of a good thing.
3. Watch the turkey gravy
While cooks in Apex, NC area can make it from scratch, many do use gravy mixes, or canned gravy to supplement or speed up the process. The salt in canned powdered mixes can be enormous and upend a cat or dog’s overall system.
A little “splash” of gravy is all that is usually needed to satisfy any pet as turkey can be dry, and lead to choking if not moistened enough. Cats and dogs do not chew as thoroughly as humans, and cats are not “drinkers.” It is important to control the salt yet impart some moisture.
Feeding Other Thanksgiving Foods to Cats and Dogs
These can actually be good if they are not difficult to chew especially for older pets. String beans, peas, carrots, etc. exist in some premium pet foods. Again, make pieces small and easy to chew. Mashed potatoes generally won’t hurt except perhaps in overweight pets and those on special diets for diabetes, etc
These can actually be good if they are not difficult to chew especially for older pets. String beans, peas, carrots, etc. exist in some premium pet foods. Again, make pieces small and easy to chew. Mashed potatoes generally won’t hurt except perhaps in overweight pets and those on special diets for diabetes, etc.
This is usually made with onions, celery, sometimes giblets, and all sorts of spices. Some recipes have walnuts. Cats and dogs can enjoy this but watch for “tummy troubles” and mash it up well. It also only adds carbohydrates and if your fur baby is overweight, well, then prudence is called for. Nut allergies and other allergies that cause serious health problems can occur from the ingredients.
Many dogs just plain will not like it. Some cats might since they can even enjoy watermelon and other fruits. Cranberry sauce is made out of berries and therefore a fruit. Watch the sugar content, and also if it is “whole cranberry sauce” as opposed to jelly, it can be a choking hazard in small dogs and especially cats. The skin on whole cranberry sauce can remain undigested and lead to vomiting.
We discussed pumpkin pie above a bit as that is traditional for most Apex area residents. However, sweet potato pie, minced meat pie, pecan pie, and yes even chocolate can dominate Thanksgiving tables.
Sugar content was discussed but with chocolate, this is a definite “no-no” given the advice of many vets for dogs and cats. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine which is toxic at certain levels for dogs and cats.
What level would be toxic to your pet would be unknown, so avoid feeding chocolate at all costs. If your fur baby steals from tables and buffets watch them closely!
We do not really need to say this. Most cats will be disinterested. Dogs will eat these more readily but these are empty calories!
Almost always a staple and cats and dogs both love this. However, it is sweet, and can add some calcium, but is heavy on calories and carbohydrates too. Lactose intolerance exists in some cats and dogs in addition to other factors.
Summary—Cats and Dogs Tips on Thanksgiving Foods
Judgment is needed. It is practically impossible not to feed at least a little Thanksgiving food to your precious puss or delightful doggy. However, too much of a good thing, and certain foods or medical conditions must be taken into consideration.
In addition, since the Apex, NC residents are family-oriented many large gatherings happen, so ensure your guests are not just handing off goodies to your pets throughout the festivities. You and your pet will pay for that in the end if well-meaning individuals are not cautious about feeding your cat or dog.