There are so many things to be thankful for in our lives and our pets are definitely at the top of the list! Thanksgiving is the perfect time to spend time with our pets and our family and show our pups and kitties just how much we love them. However sharing our rich Thanksgiving meals with our dogs can have disastrous results, no matter how good the intentions. Many dogs have a sensitive digestive system, and even if they have not had issues before, turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and butter can lead to vomiting and diarrhea, or even worse – pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas which can cause pain, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and in severe cases even death. While most people are out shopping on Black Friday, most vets are in the hospital seeing cases of pets that ate something they shouldn’t have!

Make sure all visiting friends and family know not to feed your pet from the table or give them meal leftovers, and make sure to watch young children carefully! Sometimes it is helpful to keep your pets somewhere other than the dining room during the big meal to reduce the chance they will sneak a snack.

There are lots of ways you can enjoy this holiday with your pets without risky gastrointestinal upset:
1. Take a walk in the crisp fall air after your big meal
2. Take family photos with the fall leaves.
3. Give your pets a special meal or treat made especially for them!

For cats try Tuna Yums – Take 1 lb raw tuna and cut into 1” cubes, then cut in half again. Spray a cooking sheet with non-stick spray and place the slices in a single layer. Bake at 200 F for several hours till dry and jerky texture. Make sure you flip once to get both sides. Keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or freeze and defrost for later.

For dogs try a nutritious snack
2 jars (2.5 oz) beef baby food
1/4 cup dry milk powder
1/4 cup cream of wheat
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Roll into balls and place on well-greased cookie sheet
Flatten slightly with a fork and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until brown.
Cool and refrigerate or freeze.

*These are not for use in pets with food allergies or sensitive stomachs.