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Tips For Enjoying Thanksgiving With Your Pet

Ummm…the smell of pumpkin pie baking fills the air throughout your home. The table is set, the turkey is resting, and the guests are arriving. Thanksgiving is that traditional time of year filled with lots of great foods, family, friends, and football fun. But for our pets, it can also be a hazardous time of year.

Here are a few simple tips to help you pet-proof your holiday and still allow Fido to be included in all the festivities:

Turkey Talk: Turkey meat in itself is a great treat option to offer your dog. However, fatty foods like the skin of the turkey an gravy are too rich for Fido’s stomach are are difficult to digest. These foods may cause your dog’s pancreas to become inflamed, resulting in pancreatitis, a very serious disease. Also, avoid giving cooked or uncooked bones as they can splinter.

Bread Dough: I’m first in line for fresh bread and rolls, they are indeed scrumptious! But don’t leave the dough rising on the counter within reach of your pet. When raw dough is ingested, the yeast continues to convert to sugar. As it expands, your pet may experience a drunken state, bloating and severe abdominal pain which may become life-threatening and require surgery.

Side Dishes: Often many side dishes contain sage, onions and garlic which are toxic to pets. Best to not offer your pet any sides as treats.

So, what can I feed Fido? We’ve got some great suggestions here for you.

For ap-pawtizers, offer a few baby carrots or sliced apple pieces with a small amount of peanut butter. Dinner can be made with a few pieces of cooked, cooled turkey meat mixed with mashed sweet potato and topped off with green beans. We recommend the following servings: small dogs should be given 3/4 cup, medium dogs may have 1- 1/2 cups and for larger breeds, they can enjoy up to 3 cups. On the dessert menu, try combining a small amount of pumpkin puree with non-fat plain yogurt. Freeze overnight or serve immediately.

A little splurge this Thanksgiving holiday is fine but don’t allow your pet to overindulge. Remember to keep an eye on your pet around table decorations and open trash containers. Avoid putting chocolates and nuts on tables within their reach, plastic wraps and foil laying around and also keep a watchful eye on those guests who may be inclined to sneaking your pet a treat.

If you suspect your pet has eaten something that he or she shouldn’t have, contact your vet, your emergency clinic or the ASPCA Poison Control hotline immediately at 888-426-4435.

We hope you have a fun, safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Homemade Pet Treat and Snack Recipes

Whether you are a picky pet parent or just like to bake, consider whipping up some healthy treats for you pets to enjoy. There are so many advantages to making pet treats at home. You’ll know exactly what your pet is eating and can offer a variety of taste as well as cater to any dietary restrictions.

No matter what type of pet you have, there’s a treat recipe just waiting for you to bake!

Grain Free Dog Treat

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup peanut butter,

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

1 cup plus 2 tbsp pumpkin

1-2 eggs or 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and form dough into a ball
  3. Place dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out to 1/4 – 1/2″ thickness
  4. Cut into squares or use a cute shaped cookie cutter and gently lift cookies and place on a lined baking sheet
  5. Using a fork, dip into hot water and pierce center of cookie gently
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cookies are hard
  7. Let cool completely

Store in an airtight container.

Yield: 40-60 cookies depending on the size of your cookie

The awesome folks over at Pretty Fluffy have compiled 15 homemade healthy dog treat recipes that look pretty scrumptious.

If you’re not into baking, how about making jerky treats. It just so happens that my dog, Bailey, loves a good sweet potato jerky! Healthy and super simple, just use a fresh, raw sweet potato, preferably the larger ones. Wash and scrub the potato well. Slice into 1/2-2/3 inch lengthwise strips and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 225 F for 3-4 hours. Bake longer for crunchier treats. Cool and store in an airtight container.

There are even recipes for cats, Joy the Baker has a great salmon and oats recipe that will be sure to get your feline purring.

Love watching wild birds or have a pet bird? Make one of the easiest treats around. Roll a pine cone or cardboard tube in peanut butter and then roll it through some bird seed. Try adding a few pieces of dried fruit to the seed mix as well. Hang it outside or in your pets cage and watch in enjoyment.

Do you have a bunny or guinea pig? Try Katie’s Smack Snack recipe, a blend of carrots, oats, banana and parsley or kale. We think your little critter won’t be able to resist!

Who doesn’t love a cookie or a treat? I know I do…and Bailey too.

Do you have a recipe your pet loves? Share it with us!