Pets are part of our family, so it is natural for pet owners to want to include their dog or cat in the Thanksgiving festivities. But many pet owners don’t know the harm this can potentially cause to their pet’s digestive tract. Even certain human foods fed in very small amounts can cause stomach upset in your pet. This Thanksgiving it is important to show your love for your pet by keeping them safe and away from dangerous foods.

The Humane Society of Missouri suggests you avoid feeding your pet anything they are not used to eating. Just because your pet regularly enjoys a certain item from one food group, does not mean they can eat everything else from that same group. For instance, even if your pet is accustomed to eating chicken, turkey could still make them sick.

Poultry and ham bones can be harmful to dogs. Chicken and turkey bones are hollow and shatter easily, causing little shards to possibly get caught in your pet’s throat. Ham bones usually have a lot of salt on them which could cause stomach upset in your dog or cat.

Fat drippings from your turkey pan are too much for your pet to handle. Do not pour this over their usual pet food as an added treat. Pumpkin is a natural stool softener for dogs and cats, and can cause diarrhea.

Inform your guests of the rules when they arrive so they aren't trying to get on your pet’s good side through food. Instead, have them hand your pet one of their usual treats to help them get acquainted. Make sure to secure your garbage when the meal is finished so your pet doesn't gobble up all of those leftovers while you are enjoying your after-dinner coffee.

You can still keep the holidays festive for your pet!  Serve their usual food in a special holiday dish or buy seasonal dog treats or toys for your pet. For more information, contact the Humane Society of Missouri at 314-951-1566.