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Turning Leftovers Into A Tasty Treat For Your Pets

Sick of turkey? Spread the poultry love to your pets

With four days of turkey sandwiches and casserole now stuffed under my belt, I'm boycotting the remnants of that big bird from Thursday. That's it, I'm done. My cup of thanks hath run over and regrettably spilled all over the kitchen floor.

How do we manage to put so much down our gullets anyhow? Oh, how fortunate we are, how blessed — let's celebrate by cooking enough to feed ourselves for a week, to get sick of it by Saturday!

Only one glint of hope remains for our poor gobbler leftovers. Today it's my cats' turn to be thankful. I think I'll whip together a batch of homemade treats for Sister and Muppet. What a substitute for their usual ones, containing “natural poultry flavor.”

Here is my recipe of choice, mixed in a large bowl and served cold or at room temperature, to create eight properly portioned servings:

- 2 cups chopped or shredded turkey meat (dark or white)

- 3 tablespoons of turkey gravy, turkey juices or turkey baby food
(for moisture)

- 1 hard-boiled or scrambled egg

- dash of catnip (to make sure they really feel thankful)

Because this recipe isn't nutritionally perfect for cats, it should be an occasional treat, just like the indulgent excesses of Thanksgiving are for us. Also, take care never to feed pets anything that contains onions, garlic, chocolate, grapes, raisins, nutmeg, yeast, potato peels or walnuts, which are toxic.

Some other tips for feeding Fluffy or Fido your feast:

  • You may have overeaten on Thanksgiving and survived, but your pet probably isn't accustomed to table food, let alone a lot of it. Veterinarians nationally report seeing more sick or constipated dogs after holidays. And the smaller the pet, the less it can handle. Practice portion control, restricting the dish to a few bites at a time, so your pet can properly digest (or react if it is sensitive to a particular ingredient).
  • De-bone, de-bone, de-bone! Hollow turkey bones can easily snap into sharp pieces that may block or rupture the intestinal tract. Symptoms, which can take a couple days to appear, include vomiting, diarrhea, depression and loss of appetite.
  • Gravies and sauces, or a bird deep-fried or cooked in bacon, are rich in irritable fats and spices and could also cause illness. Steer clear of stuffing and bread, too, which make 'em bloated.


Want to make your leftovers dog friendly? Visit this website for 10
healthy, well-researched recipes.


Don't have any leftovers left? Count 'em: 27 days till your fridge is
full of turkey again. (Oh brother.)

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