Extra turkey, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin puree can easily be turned into a Thanksgiving treat for your dog or cat. Here’s how to use leftovers and extra ingredients to make your pet smile.
Extra Turkey? How About An Easy-To-Make Turkey Meatloaf?
If you’re willing to share left over cooked turkey or if you have some raw ground turkey on hand, you can quickly make a healthy, delicious treat for your dog or cat that can be served up on Thanksgiving Day or stored in the freezer to portion out during the rest of the holiday season.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 lb of cooked turkey scraps (avoid heavily spiced or salted portions of the bird) or 1 pound of raw ground turkey
- 1 egg, beaten
- Additional vegetables like peas, carrots, celery, or julienned sweet potato not to exceed 1 cup. Do not add garlic, onions, or spices (read more foods you can’t feed dogs or cats)
- 1/2 cup of rolled oats
- Enough chicken stock or water to moisten
Preheat oven to 350˚F. If you’re working with cooked turkey, add it to a food processor and finely chop. Mix together finely chopped cooked turkey OR raw ground turkey, egg, and rolled oats. If you have additional vegetables, you can add them to the mix as well, but do not exceed more than 1 cup. Use enough chicken stock to make a moist, malleable mixture.
Form meat mixture into a loaf and place in a loaf pan or on a baking dish. Cook for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the mixture comes out clean. Let cool and slice. Freeze remaining portions.
Small dogs shouldn’t be allowed more than 1/4 to 1/2 slice of turkey meatloaf per day, large dogs can have 1 slice per day, but balance the portion against your dog’s current meal size. Your homemade meal will be much more calorie dense than your dog’s regular food, so it’s okay that you cut back a bit on the total portion.
Extra Sweet Potatoes? How About Sweet Potato Jerky?
This one is super simple. It’s basically a dried slice of sweet potato, but this veggie is high in valuable dietary fiber, will bulk up your pet’s stool, will help with elimination and anal gland expression, and provide a boost of valuable vitamins.
What you’ll need:
- 1 Raw Sweet Potato
- Sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)
Preheat oven to 250˚F. Cut sweet potato into thin slices. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay out the slices. Sparingly sprinkle each slice with a bit of cinnamon. The spice is fine for cats and dogs in small amounts and will smell delicious when baking. Bake the slices about 1- 1.5 hours on one side, flip, and continue to bake for another 1-1.5 hours or until they appear well roasted and dry. Remove from oven and allow to fully cool. You can freeze additional slices in a zip lock bag. Refrigerate leftover chews in a closed container for up to 2 weeks.
Extra Pumpkin Puree? How About a Mini Pumpkin Pie?
This recipe is a bit more labor intensive, but the finished product is adorable and great if you want to impress a holiday guest who’s bringing a pet in tow.
What you’ll need:
- 3/4 cup of whole wheat or white flour
- 1/2 cup of rolled oats
- 1/4 cup of apple sauce
- 3 tbs. water
- 1 can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
Preheat oven to 375˚F. In a food processor, blend flour and rolled oats until finely chopped and well combined. Mix in apple sauce and add enough cold water to form a dough. Turn dough out onto a floured board and roll into a pie crust. Use a round bowl as a guide to make circles 4 inches in diameter or smaller depending on the size of your muffin tins and how big you want to make your pies. Use a non-stick spray to lightly coat the inside of muffin tins and then transfer the circles of dough into each tin to make small pie shells. Use your thumb and forefinger to flute the edges of each crust. Bake the crusts dry at 375˚F for 8 minutes or until lightly browned.
After crusts are completely cooled, fill with pumpkin puree and garnish with a dollop of Greek yogurt to make the pie look like it is dressed with whipped cream.
These treats are pretty enough to place on the table with your guests. Like the other recipes mentioned here, feed this ‘desert’ in moderation. Pumpkin puree is high in dietary fiber and vitamins, is excellent for your pet’s digestive system, and will bulk up his or her stools.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!