These Holiday Foods Are Safe for Fido

Everyone looks forward to their favorite holiday. Some people may wait all year to dress up for Halloween, some people bake pies for Thanksgiving, and others can't wait to hang their Christmas lights.

The holidays are in full swing around us! Traditional holiday foods include goodies like turkey, mashed potatoes, and mac and cheese. While you daydream about how you'll fill your holiday plates, keep in mind whatever you put on your plate could potentially make its way to your dog waiting happily under the table.

Dogs love any excuse to eat, much like we do. Check out these holiday foods that are safe for Fido. If you're careful about monitoring what your dog eats, you and your pup can both enjoy a great holiday season.

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Sweet Potatoes

If you're a dog owner who buys limited-ingredient or grain-free dog food, you're likely more familiar with dogs eating sweet potatoes than owners who choose regular kibble. Many allergen-free dog foods use sweet potatoes as a foundational ingredient because they're easy for dogs to digest.

Feel free to give your dog a handful of sweet potato cubes during your holiday meal. Just make sure the potato is peeled and cooked through, since an uncooked potato is a choking hazard.

Dogs should also only eat fresh sweet potatoes. Never give your pup any potatoes that come in a steamable bag, or ones that are seasoned ahead of time, as they could contain ingredients that would upset your furry friend's stomach.

Turkey Meat

The big question on your mind — can you feed your dog some scraps of turkey under the table? Yes! White turkey meat is non-toxic for dogs and contains rich, natural nutrients like protein, phosphorus, and riboflavin.

Give your dog safe turkey meat by only slipping them a piece after the turkey has been cooked, sliced and stripped of its skin. The meat should also be free of seasoning or additional ingredients like onions and garlic.

Canned Pumpkin

Pumpkin is one of the most iconic holiday foods besides turkey. Share a scoop with your pup while you're pulling out ingredients for your famous pumpkin pie.

Plain canned pumpkin is the only kind dogs can eat and enjoy safely because it contains no spice, fillers, or allergens. That means you can't share your favorite spiced pumpkin blends with your dog — no matter how cute their begging eyes are.

Cooked Lobster Meat

Lobster fanatics are in luck. As long as the lobster is cooked to kill off intestinal parasites, dogs can eat fresh lobster meat as a treat for being such a good pup.

Be thoughtful when preparing your holiday lobster. While most people buy hard-shelled lobster, businesses also sell soft-shelled lobster as a sweeter alternative. Even if your shell is soft, you'll need to remove all traces before handing some to your dog, as the shell is not digestible and could cause choking.

Raw Green Beans

Before you head to the store to buy ingredients for your green bean casserole, add some extra green beans to your grocery list. When they're given a handful at a time, dogs enjoy green bean snacks as a fresh treat alongside their daily kibble.

Dogs benefit from the calcium, iron, and vitamins in green beans. Just be sure the beans aren’t salted! Cans of salted green beans or green beans mixed with oils, spices, or other vegetables aren't safe for canine consumption.

Fresh Carrots

While you're chopping and slicing vegetables for your holiday dinner, your pup might sniff their way into the kitchen and watch you open up the bag of carrots. Dogs enjoy the sweet taste of carrots like humans do, and can eat them in two ways.

If you slice up your carrots and steam the chopped pieces until they're super soft, your dog is free to have a taste. Some vets recommend carrots as dog snacks because they're high in vitamin A, fiber, and potassium.

Your dog may also enjoy whole carrots as a frozen treat. Wrap them individually in freezer paper to prevent them from sticking together, and let them freeze for at least 24 hours. Afterward, your pup can chew on the frozen carrot like a bone. The coolness of the carrot can soothe the gums and teeth of puppies that are going through teething.

Apple Slices

Apple pies are a holiday dessert you can bring to any dinner. Toss an apple slice to your furry best friend while you prep, since apples are safe to eat and great for a dog's daily nutrition needs.

Apples benefit dogs because they contain healthy amounts of fiber, which some dogs may miss in their diet if they eat specialized foods. They can even eat this fruit outside their regular mealtime. Since apples are low in both protein and fat, dogs can enjoy them as an occasional treat during the day.

Introduce New Foods Slowly

No matter how safe any food is for a dog to eat, always introduce new foods slowly. A bite or two of these human foods should be fine for their digestive system, but don't hand your dog a bowl of steamed sweet potato cubes as their holiday dinner.

Dogs need time to adapt to new foods so that they don't experience diarrhea. As long as you stick with this list of safe foods and give your dog a few bites as a holiday treat, they'll love to munch on the same foods as you. Consult with your vet if you have any questions regarding health issues or medication and how a change in diet could affect your dog.

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