Gobble – Gobble – Gobble…Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips

Thanksgiving-and-dog

The holiday season begins with Thanks giving and can be fun for the whole family.

Ovens are working overtime and delicious holiday aromas fill the air, and during this happy time we sometimes tend to become overly generous with our furry friends. This means that often they will “benefit” from table food scraps.  Sometimes, however, too many treats can lead to injury or illness for our pets, and we need to ensure that we keep the “Happy” in Thanksgiving, and avoid a trip to the vet!

NO to Fat: Fatty or rich foods (e.g. beef fat, poultry skin,  gravy, etc.) can cause severe gastrointestinal issues, including:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive gas
  • Pancreatitis[1]

We are better off feeding a few small bites of lean poultry or unsalted/-unbuttered veggies as a treat.

NO to Chocolate: Remember all the chocolaty goodies offered over Thanksgiving (and other holidays).  Chocolate is super dangerous for our furry friends, especially, because it contains theobromine[2]. Dogs are not able to metabolize theobromine as quickly as humans, and the following can occur:

  • Digestive issues
  • Dehydration
  • Excitability
  • Slow heart rate

YES to Green Beans: Plain, cooked green beans are a wonderful treat for our dogs, and fresh veggies are a great addition to their diet. But beware of our famous green bean casserole, because it contains other ingredients that are bad for our pets.

NO to Xylitol: While we may be making a healthier choice by cooking/ baking with artificial sweeteners, they contain Xylitol, which is poisonous to animals, and potentially deadly to dogs.

YES to Cranberry Sauce: Cranberry sauce is just fine for dogs but be cognizant of the amount of sugar and acid in it. It’s probably best to only put a small helping on your dog’s plate.

YES to Mashed Potatoes: Potatoes are a great, filling vegetable to share with our dogs. However, even though potatoes themselves are not harmful to dogs, be aware of other ingredients that may be in our mashed potatoes -cheese, sour cream, butter, onions, and gravies are no-no’s in a dog’s diet.

YES to Turkey: Turkey is a great lean protein to share with our pets. We just need to be sure to remove any excess skin or fat (best to stick with white meat, too) and make sure there are no bones.

YES to Exercise:  Our pet’s meal and exercise schedules are important, and a disruption in their dietary routine can cause stomach upset, diarrhea and/ or vomiting.

NO to Bones:  Make no bones about it. Certain bones can lacerate/ obstruct our pets’ intestines.  So, save the bones for the turkey soup -not your dog.

NO to Onions:  Onions (onion powder, too) are widely found in stuffing and used as a general seasoning.  Those, however, will destroy our dog or cat’s red blood cells, which can lead to anemia.

NO to Grapes and Raisins:  Grapes and raisins contain a toxin that can cause kidney damage to both dogs and cats.

NO to Food Wrappings:  Aluminum foil, wax paper and other food wrappings can cause intestinal obstruction. We have to make sure to place these items securely in the garbage.

NO to Garbage:  Keep an eye on the garbage and keep it securely fastened! If our dogs get into it, they may think “jackpot”, but all they’ll be winning is health problems from something as simple as gastric disturbance, vomiting and diarrhea to the worst-case scenario – death. Yikes!

YES to Fresh Water:  We have to make sure our pets always have fresh water. When there are more people in the house, there are more chances to bump into the water bowl leaving our pets dry and thirsty –not good, especially, when being “spoiled” under the table with stuff they shouldn’t be eating in the first place.

YES to Quiet Time:  We have to make sure our pets have a quiet retreat, because sometimes festivities can be too much for them.  It’s a good idea to observe their behavior to ensure they are not stressed.

So, gobble – gobble – gobble… Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, y’all!

 


[1] Pancreatitis is a severe inflammation of the pancreas, an organ that produces digestive enzymes. On the mild side, pancreatitis can cause vomiting and a decrease in appetite, but can potentially be fatal.

[2] Caffeine-like ingredient that can be toxic to our pets; ater stages of theobromine poisoning include epileptic-like seizures and pet death. Keep your pets away from dark, semi-sweet and baker’s chocolate because they contain higher levels of theobromine.

 

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