Tavares Animal Hospital

418 East Alfred Street, Tavares, FL 32778
Monday thru Friday 8:00am - 5:30pm

Office: (352) 343-7793 Emergency: (407) 644-4449

How to help your pets enjoy thanksgiving

How could you resist those sad eyes? Thanksgiving is all about the food, for us and our pets. They know something smells really good in that oven and who can resist the sweet faces staring up at you with those sad eyes begging for a bite.

You don’t have to say no! Well, maybe a little. We all know those precious dogs and cats that think they can eat the whole turkey and all the trimmings all by themselves and if left alone they’d try. While you can’t give them a whole turkey to themselves you can let them indulge a little.

Here are some tips to survive Thanksgiving with a happy pet and without the doctor bills after.

1. Prep the guests. Uncle Bob loves to give bites of anything he eats to any dog that asks. Grandma likes to share her dessert with the cat. Just look under the table and you can see who’s giving out treats. They’re surrounded by two dogs and have a cat in their lap. Give these well meaning friends and relatives an approved list of foods and beg them to follow it.

2. Watch the garbage. Put the garbage in the closet or pantry and keep the door shut tight. If you have short legged friends you can put the trash can on the counter. The counter top works great for dachshunds but don’t think a happy go lucky Labrador can’t get to it. He’ll think he hit the jack pot with turkey flavored tin foil and whipped cream plastic wrap.

3. Keep in mind the size of your pets stomach. Not only is it much smaller than yours but any treats she gets is in addition to her regular breakfast and dinner.

4. Keep in mind if your pet has a sensitive stomach. You know best when it comes to what your pets belly can handle.

5. If your pet is on a prescription diet please ask your doctor before feeding your pet even one bite of food that has not already been approved by his doctor. It’s likely that there are a few special treats you can give but some things may not be ok for his particular condition.

6. Distraction is your friend. Especially if your pet can’t have any Thanksgiving treats. Use a kong filled with something yummy that your pet can have and that their stomach is used to. Or let your pet rest in her crate in another room while you enjoy dinner in peace. Don’t expect your pet to watch you eat and smell the yummy smells without asking for a bite, or ten, it’s not fair to either of you.

Here is a list of some foods that are fine to give and some that aren’t.

Yes, enjoy!

Carrot without fat or seasonings

Green beans without fat or seasonings


Peanut butter

Boneless, cooked, white meat turkey

Plain macaroni noodles

mashed potatoes with no butter

Fresh fruit, except grapes




Grapes, raisins


Turkey with skin or bones

Macaroni and cheese



One small bite of each of these foods can equal an entire meal for a small dog, so keep in mind your pets size. You can’t rely on them to tell you when they’ve had enough. Even foods that are ok to give can cause upset stomach if too much is eaten at one time.

In general,  fruits and vegetables that are raw or cooked with no fat or seasonings and lean, well cooked meats are the best options or pets. These things are just as yummy to your dog or cat as the full fat and salty versions, but much easier on the stomach.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

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