Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and of course, food! If you’re like most people, you want to make sure that your Shih Tzu is included in the festivities.
While traditional Thanksgiving food may not be the healthiest choice for your dog, there are still plenty of Shih Tzu friendly options that will let them enjoy the holiday with you.
Let’s get started!
10 Shih Tzu Friendly Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas
1. Turkey Breast
Turkey isn’t just for humans! Most dogs love the taste of turkey, and it’s a lean protein that’s good for them.
Just make sure it’s plain white meat and to remove the skin and bones before serving.
Bones from turkey or any other birds like chicken and duck can splinter very easily. Feeding this to your dog can cause severe issues such as serious pain and bleeding if it splinters in their throat and digestive track.
Shred the turkey and add to your dog’s kibble and watch them gobble it right up.
2. Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are another Shih Tzu friendly Thanksgiving dinner option. Give it to them plain and leave out the butter, salt, and other toppings like sour cream, salt and pepper that can be harmful to pups.
Dairy such as butter, milk or sour cream can cause digestive issues in dogs which could result in diarrhea, bloating and constipation.
3. Green Beans
Green beans are a healthy, Shih Tzu friendly option for Thanksgiving dinner. They’re packed with vitamins, minerals and plenty of fiber and most dogs love the taste!
The bean dish, like turkey, sweet potatoes and other selections mentioned on this list, should be kept simple and served plain without any extra ingredients such as butter or spices.
Add Carrots to the list for another healthy, Shih Tzu friendly option for Thanksgiving dinner. They’re packed with vitamins and minerals, and most dogs love them.
You can give it to them cooked or raw. My girl loved carrots and would eat them up like candy.
Keep the pieces small to avoid choking hazards.
Pumpkin is a great Shih Tzu friendly, Thanksgiving dinner option that’s packed with nutrients. Just make sure to avoid giving your dog canned pumpkin, as it usually contains a lot of sugar.
Pumpkin is also great for dogs with digestive issues. If your Shih Tzu has tummy troubles, giving them some pumpkin might help.
Pumpkin can make a great Thanksgiving treat or desert as well.
This recipe for Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats from allrecipes.com would make a great way to incorporate pumpkin into your Shih Tzu’s Thanksgiving dinner menu.
6. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are another Shih Tzu friendly, Thanksgiving dinner option. Sweet potatoes are great source of dietary fiber, vitamin b6, vitamin c and beta carotene.
Sweet potatoes are also low fat and have vitamin A which is essential for maintaining healthy eyes, muscles, nerves, and skin.
One thing to watch out for is if your dog is diabetic or overweight only give minimal amounts due to a high glycemic index.
As always, if you have any concerns about your Shih Tzus diet, consult with your veterinarian before introducing new foods.
7. Leafy Vegetables
Leafy vegetables like spinach, lettuce and kale are packed with nutrients and the added fiber is a benefit.
Spinach is a good source of iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamins A, C, E and K.
Kale is high in fiber, vitamins A, C and K, iron and calcium.
Both are low in calories. Mix these into your dog’s kibble for an added nutritional boost this Thanksgiving.
Cranberries are a Shih Tzu safe, Thanksgiving dinner option that’s packed with nutrients.
Raw or cooked, fresh or frozen cranberries are all fine.
A little goes a long way though, since they are tart. Also, if they eat too many it may cause stomach upset.
Cranberries are full of antioxidants and vitamins that can be beneficial to your pup.
Just like humans, some Shih Tzus may be prone to bladder and urinary tract infections, especially as they get older. Cranberries can be a helpful aid in keeping these uncomfortable issues at bay.
Just make sure to avoid giving them cranberry sauce, as it usually contains a lot of sugar.
Wash the berries before feeding to remove any pesticides if giving it to them raw.
Add a handful or so to your dog’s kibble or feed as a treat on its own.
Peas are a Shih Tzu friendly, Thanksgiving dinner option that’s packed with nutrients.
They’re a good source of fiber, vitamins A, C and K, iron and calcium.
According to the AKC you can feed your dog fresh, frozen, or thawed peas, but do not give your dog canned peas. Like many canned vegetables, canned peas typically have a lot of added sodium, which is harmful to dogs.
10. Apple Slices
Apple slices are a Shih Tzu friendly, Thanksgiving dinner or desert dish that is high in nutrients.
They’re a good source of fiber and vitamins A, C, potassium and antioxidants.
Apples are also low in calories and can help freshen up your pup’s breath.
Remove the seeds and core before giving to your dog as they can be harmful.
The skin is fine to leave on as it contains a lot of the nutrients, but some dogs don’t like the taste or texture.
You can also puree the apple if you want to remove the skin but keep the nutrients.
Apple slices also make another great desert option for your Shih Tzu on Thanksgiving.
Foods Shih Tzus Should Avoid on Thanksgiving
Keep in mind that not all foods are safe for dogs to eat on Thanksgiving, or any other day.
Some foods that are harmful and to avoid are:
- cooked bones
- turkey skin
While some of these foods might not be toxic, they can still cause digestive upset or other issues.
There are many great Thanksgiving dinner options that are safe and healthy for your Shih Tzu.
By incorporating some of these foods into your dog’s diet, you can be sure they’re getting the nutrients they need while also enjoying the holiday.
Just be sure to avoid any foods that could be harmful or toxic to them.
With a little planning ahead, you can have a stress-free and enjoyable Thanksgiving dinner that your whole family can enjoy, including your furry friend!
Wishing you and your Shih Tzu a very Happy Thanksgiving!