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Planning a Doggy Delicious Thanksgiving Dinner

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By Andrea Servadio, Co-Founder of Fitdog Sports Club

Thanksgiving is a special day where our country unites in honoring our heritage as well as giving thanks to friends and loved ones. But what about Fido?! What better way to give thanks to our lovable pups than by allowing them to indulge in a dog-friendly thanksgiving feast!? As the co-founder of Fitdog Sports Club, a full service doggy daycare located in Santa Monica, Calif., I love to prepare delicious yet healthy treats for my dogs, especially during the holiday season!

Below, please find a list of my favorite fall foods for pets! Your dogs are sure to enjoy these fall favorites and will feel a part of the celebration during Thanksgiving!

  • Thanksgiving Turkey: Yes, dogs can certainly eat turkey; however Thanksgiving turkey is typically high in fat and is cooked with onions (which are poisonous for dogs).  For this reason, we recommend cooking up a separate piece of turkey especially for your dog.  You can dress up the turkey with some rosemary, sage and chicken stock.
  • Green Bean Casserole: A classic dish. But this dish is loaded with not so friendly doggy foods like the fried onion toppings, mushrooms and creamy soup base. That doesn’t mean your dog can’t enjoy some plain steamed green beans with his turkey.
  • Pumpkin Pie: Pumpkins are great foods for dogs, but butter, sugar and fat are not. We recommend making pumpkin doggy biscuits instead. There a lot of recipes out there, but here is a recipe from Food.com that looks so easy to make that you might start to make it year round.
  • Mashed Potatoes: Buttery, creamy mashed potatoes & gravy – yum! Potatoes do offer nutritional benefits, but the butter and cream, and sometimes garlic, should not be consumed by your dog. Better than a mashed potato? A baked potato. Remember to only serve your dog a small portion (Think 1/4th or 1/8th of a potato). This is because potatoes are high in carbohydrates, which is not good for your dog’s blood sugar.
  • Baked Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are found in a variety of high quality dog foods and offer a lot of nutritional benefits. Although on Thanksgiving, they are usually covered in a bed of marshmallows, which is definitely not a doggy friendly food. If you skip the marshmallows and the sugar, baked sweet potatoes are a great treat for your dog. Here is a recipe from Food.com for homemade sweet potato chews. (Hint: There is only one ingredient!)

Please note that there are certain foods that your dogs should always avoid. These foods should never be given to your dog – not even in small quantities: grapes, raisins, chocolate, onions, garlic, alcohol, plums, sugary foods, fatty meats and cooked bones of any kind (unless specifically pressurized and made for dogs).

With a little bit of substituting, you can always find a way for your pup to join the party & the feast.

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  • Adrian Key

    I always do our dog a meal of turkey to share on thanksgiving day. I recommend keeping it simple, just the turkey cut from the bone, nothing else. He seems to really enjoy it!