This Thanksgiving will be our first Thanksgiving with Jasper the Dog. Jasper is a one-year-old Minature Aussie Shepard and he is an instigator. He has already shown a unique ability to chew up things that really didn't need to be chewed up. We've lost power cords to amplifiers, microphones, an Anne Murray CD, blankets, pillows, a comforter, six shoes, and a dog bed to those insatiable dog teeth.

With Thanksgiving and an abundance of food about to be spread on the very reachable counters of our home we actually have to stop and consider what could Jasper eat that would be okay. What could Jasper eat that will make him poop all over the house and What could be worse for our furry friend?

Here's what animal health professional say is okay to give your pet. They really don't suggest that you do it but I know you, like me, are a sucker for those sad eyes and strands of drool.

  • Bland chicken or turkey
  • Unseasoned vegetables
  • Boiled rice
  • Mac and cheese
  • Cranberry sauce

Remember no Vet I know would say give your pet those food items. But since you're going to do it anyway at least you have the guidelines. Portion control is really important here too. Your pet only "needs" a taste, not a full plate of food.

Now for the stuff you've got to make sure your kids and your guests don't give your pet.

  • Fried turkey
  • Ham
  • Salad
  • Alliums (onion, garlic, scallion, shallot, leek, chives)
  • Stuffing
  • Casseroles
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Dessert
  • Alcohol

You also have to be very careful about casseroles, stuffing, and other dishes that are a mixture of different foods especially if those foods were prepared by someone outside your family.

Our plan is to make sure that Jasper has plenty of other dog-friendly options available during the preparation and destruction of the holiday meal. We will offer him dog treats, chew toys, and some outside time in the backyard as preventative measures.

This way he gets to be a part of the family and share in our blessings and we don't have to clean up copious piles, or worse, puddles of poop. He also won't be a nuisance to our guests while they are trying to eat and watch football.