Best Thanksgiving recipes for your pet

thanksgiving food for pets
Pets enjoy Thanksgiving food too. ©Shutterstock

Are you looking forward to sharing some delicious Thanksgiving food with your pet? Here are some Thanksgiving-themed treats for different types of pet. Say thanks!

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Thanksgiving pumpkin pie for dogs

Is your pet a bit of a food thief? This Thanksgiving, don’t wait until he steals your freshly-made pumpkin pie (and worry that it isn’t safe for him), make one for both of you! In fact, cooked sweet potato is sometimes even recommended by vets to calm a dog’s digestive system.

Use canned plain pumpkin and low fat plain yoghurt for the filling. For the pastry, use whole wheat flour, oatmeal and unsweetened apple sauce with a few tbsp of water to get the right consistency. Bake in muffin tins and enjoy.

Tasty cooked turkey for cats

Cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving can leave you with some leftovers that we humans don’t always appreciate. Not as much as our pet felines, at least. High in vitamin A, cooked turkey liver is a delicious Thanksgiving treat for a cat. As are boiled giblets, which are also often found in many tinned cat foods, and which humans don’t often eat themselves. They’re the perfect cooked leftovers for your cat.

Sweet natural treats for birds

Don’t forget to feed the birds this Thanksgiving! Birds are also cherished pets, so if you want to treat your feathered friends this holiday season, update their snack bowl. Fresh cranberries are packed with vitamins (dried fruits lose some their vitamins but are still ok) and make a delicious snack for pet birds.

Cooked sweet potato, another Thanksgiving classic, is ideal for making potato balls that your bird will adore. Mix your cooked sweet potato with some banana, raisins and chopped apple, then add water and oatmeal. Roll the mixture into marble-sized balls and give one or two to your pet bird before freezing the rest.

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Raw veggies for rodents

After you finish chopping the vegetables for your Thanksgiving dinner, put a few pieces aside. Mice, hamsters, guinea pigs and other pet rodents love gnawing on chunks of broccoli, cornsquash and carrot. It will also help keep their teeth clean and strong.

Avoid raw sweet potato, Brussels sprouts and anything citrus, which can be toxic for rodents. Remember that rodents love a varied diet and a bit of a challenge, so cut your veg into small pieces and hide them around the cage or enclosure.

On Thanksgiving, don’t give your pet:

It’s so easy to look into the big “I’m hungry” eyes of your pet on Thanksgiving and capitulate. But giving your pet the same food as you isn’t a good way to show your love and appreciation. It can even be dangerous to their health.

Turkey and chicken bones are a big no-no for all pets. Not only do raw bones pose potential bacterial threats, but cooked bones can splinter and cause severe damage to throats and internal organs.

Undercooked meat is also not a good idea to feed your pet on Thanksgiving (or any time of the year!) Even cooked turkey skin can contain a lot of seasoning. Onion, garlic and sage can be toxic to some animals, and too much salt is bad for anyone. This is also the reason why you should never give your pet stuffing or gravy. Sage in particular is known for causing tummy problems in cats.

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While cranberries themselves are fine for animals, cranberry sauce is a different matter. Whether home-made or store-bought, cranberry sauce contains high levels of sugar that your pet doesn’t need. Watch out for grapes too, these can cause kidney problems in dogs.

Show your thanks for your pet this Thanksgiving by feeding them the best, healthiest and most delicious treats!

Read also: Becoming the new Pet Chef: 5 nutrition tips for your dog

Emily K is a freelance copywriter, journalist and translator based in France. In her spare time, when she's not running after her cheeky beagle, she can be found pedalling around the city on her bicycle.