Celebrate A Happy And Safe Thanksgiving With Your Pets
Thanksgiving is upon us once again, and there are always lots of details to think about this time of year, between getting everyone to the house, having enough tables and plates, and cooking the turkey to perfection; we hardly have time to think about our pets.
Our dogs love the celebration as much as we do, especially all the visitors and the mountains of attention from the kids and Grandma. Oh, and all that great food, and the wonderful smells of cooking. Please remember, your dog can be very sensitive to the treats that may come his way during Thanksgiving. Each year San Diego Pet Hospital experiences an increase in the volume of office calls due to digestive problems after the holidays. This is almost always a result of us humans sharing the foods of our celebration with our pets. Our dogs may suffer digestive problems due to high-fat meals like turkey, turkey skin, ham, and gravy. They can also have problems brought on by desserts, chocolates, and animal bones.
Here are some tips that will help to ensure that you and your dog have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.
First, resist giving your dog fatty foods as they can lead to stomach upset and diarrhea. In some cases, even one fatty meal can lead to a life-threatening condition called pancreatitis. A little lean white meat turkey on your dog’s normal food will be okay but don’t overdo it. She may look up at you with those big brown eyes and ask for more, but be strong, she will still love you even without that extra serving of fatty turkey skin. Remember, fatty-turkey skin can really mess with your dog’s digestive system, so resist the fat and give her only skinless-boneless turkey.
Second, give your dog a treat to enjoy while you eat your meal. Stuff his Kong with his regular dog food and add a little white meat turkey (no bones of course) and a little bit of sweet potato. It doesn’t take a lot of food, and he will be happy and occupied throughout your meal.
Third, resist those bones! Cooked poultry bones can lodge in your dog’s digestive system. Or worse yet they can splinter and cause punctures in the stomach or intestines. So guard that turkey carcass at all times. Make sure that your brilliant and smart animal friend cannot get to the bones when you turn your back. It can happen in a heartbeat, as your big dog grabs the turkey carcass from the kitchen counter and rushes outside with his prize. Oh and don’t forget to keep a close eye on those empty (or not so empty) dinner plates too.
Here are some human food items that you will want to keep a watch on over the holidays, as they can all be harmful to your beloved animal companions:
- Avocado, as all parts of the avocado, are toxic to dogs
- Chocolate, while we may love our chocolate it contains theobromine which is a cardiac stimulant and can be fatal to dogs in sufficient quantities
- Macadamia nuts have a component that can affect the nervous system of dogs
- Nutmeg, while it may taste good to you can cause seizures and central nervous system damage to dogs.
- Sugar-free sweeteners and foods that contain Xylitol, which can cause severe hypoglycemia and liver failure in dogs
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving holiday!