There's no doubt about it: Thanksgiving is the tastiest day of the year. Between the turkey, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, and pumpkin pie, you never leave your Thanksgiving table feeling unsatisfied or hungry.
Now you're wondering: Can you share this wonderful food with your dog? Specifically, is it OK if your dog laps up some of the leftover gravy?
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Before you top his kibble with gravy, learn more about whether or not gravy is safe for your pup during the holiday.
Where does gravy come from?
When you hear the word "gravy," it typically refers to gravy from meat, like turkey, chicken, or beef, but it can also refer to gravy from mushrooms or some other type of vegan recipe.
The word "gravy" first showed up as "gravé" in Middle English, and it probably has French origins. It gained popularity in 17th century France, and then in Britain, eventually spreading to other parts of the world, including the United States.
When making gravy, traditional recipes call for the drippings from meat, butter, bouillon, onions, flour, and stock.
Can dogs eat gravy?
Dogs should not eat traditional gravy. Typically, gravy is made from ingredients that could harm your dog and lead to adverse side effects.
Are there any concerns with feeding gravy to dogs?
There are a few different concerns when it comes to feeding traditional gravy to dogs. They include the following.
Gravy contains alliums
Gravy usually contains alliums like onions and garlic, which are toxic to dogs. If your dog consumes alliums, he could start vomiting, have diarrhea, experience abdominal pain, lose his appetite, pee dark urine, have pale gums, and be lethargic.
High salt levels
Gravy is high in salt, and too much salt intake is bad for your pup. Your dog could experience salt toxicity if he consumes two to three grams of sodium for every kilogram of body weight he has. Symptoms of overconsumption of salt include vomiting, diarrhea, increased urination, excessive thirst, lethargy, a lack of coordination, and a decrease in appetite.
High fat levels
Gravy is very fatty, and when dogs have too much fat, it can lead to obesity, acute pancreatitis, and other health issues. Fat can cause a deficiency in the essential nutrients your pup needs in order to be healthy and live a long life.
Other harmful ingredients
Let's say you're making a vegan or vegetarian gravy from mushrooms or some other food source. These recipes may still contain onions, salt, fat from margarine, or mustard, which is toxic for your pup. While dogs can technically eat mushrooms, they shouldn't eat them in a gravy; they should only consume them plain. It's best to avoid giving your dog human gravy altogether.
If you want to feed your dog gravy and also protect his health at the same time, purchase a gravy that's specifically for dogs. Or, you could create a homemade gravy and put it on a plain piece of turkey without the skin on. Make sure you don't give your dog any turkey bones, as they are a choking hazard. A safe gravy recipe for dogs includes 1 cup of low-sodium broth that does not contain garlic or onion mixed with 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder that's been dissolved in an equal amount of cool water.
Whether you feed your dog a commercial dog food gravy or make your own, he'll be sure to enjoy the treat – especially on Thanksgiving, when everyone else in your home is chowing down on delicious food as well. He won't have to miss out on the holiday celebrations this year.