Trupanion, the leader in medical insurance for pets, is reminding pet owners that not only can some thanksgiving foods be toxic to your pet, table scraps and extra treats can add up quickly.

According to veterinarian, Dr. Sarah Nold, two of the main risks of feeding human food to dogs— aside from toxicity with certain foods—include gastrointestinal (GI) upset and bad canine behavior. Even if your dog doesn’t get sick from eating “people food,” giving them food off of the dining table can encourage begging and other unwanted behaviors, which can be tough to shake once established.

“I’m a believer, along with many veterinarians, that the best way to avoid GI upset and developing bad behaviors, such as begging, is for pets to only eat their own designated food away from the table,” Nold says. “However, I understand that many people want to give their pet something ‘special’ for the holidays. The pet industry also recognizes this, which is why there are so many seasonal toys and treats offered at pet stores and online. I saw pumpkin spice-flavored dog cookies just last week.”

With this in mind, Nold says the following food items can be okay for dogs to eat on occasion, in small amounts:

• Turkey – lean, light meat without seasoning or sauces
• Pumpkin – plain (no butter or seasoning) canned, or cooked pumpkin
• Potatoes – cooked, plain (mashed or cubed form without butter or seasoning)
• Yams – cooked, plain
• Rice – cooked, plain
• Green beans – plain canned, frozen, cooked, or fresh (trimmed)
• Corn – always removed from cob, plain canned, frozen, cooked, or fresh
• Marshmallows – plain and untoasted, never sugar-free (this can contain xylitol)

In addition to only serving your pet plain items off of the “safe” list in small quantities, here are 7 holiday foods that you should avoid giving to dogs at all costs:

• Anything with garlic, chives, onions or scallions (this includes most stuffing)
• Raisins, currants, grapes
• Cranberry sauce
• Fatty or dark turkey meat
• Pie
• Gravy
• Chocolate, Cookies and Candy (any sugary human treats)

Whether or not you decide to give your pup some treats this season, take caution regarding holiday dishes and leftovers in general.

“Pets can be very sneaky, and you only have to be out of the room for a minute. The safest thing is to take trash with scraps outside to a secured place right away,” Nold says. “I have used my microwave and cooled oven as pet-proof storage for food items that aren’t going in the fridge… A pantry with a door is another potential safe place.”

Press release provided by Trupanion

Turkey is definitely the house favourite here. What’s your pet’s favourite Thanksgiving treat? Please let us know in the comments below!

You may also be interested in reading:
Hunting Wild Game for Your Dog or Cat (With Instant Pot Stew Recipe)
How to Add Natural Holiday Color To Homemade Pet Treats