Thanksgiving should be a happy time for feasting with loved ones and appreciating life. Of course, pets are included on the list of loved ones, but you may want to have them skip the feast. Many of our favorite Thanksgiving dishes can be dangerous for our four-legged family members. People food often contains more fat and sugar than is good for your pet. We’ve assembled a list of our top five Thanksgiving tips to help your pet stay healthy this holiday season.
1. Fatty foods can lead to pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), an organ that helps the body digest food. Pancreatitis can happen anytime, but veterinarians see a rise in pets with pancreatitis around the holidays. Fatty foods like poultry skin, vegetables covered in butter, bacon, etc. may taste good, but neither you nor your pet will appreciate a trip to the emergency vet. Do everyone a favor and resist the temptation to treat your pet with these foods.
2. Stay away from grapes, raisins, and macadamia nuts. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in some dogs and macadamia nuts may lead to vomiting, ataxia, and hyperthermia.
3. It probably comes as no surprise that dogs should not consume alcohol. What may be surprising is the other ways pets can get alcohol poisoning. Rum-soaked fruitcake or unbaked dough containing yeast can lead to alcohol poisoning and the unbaked dough may also lead to bloat. What may be a small amount for us can be toxic to your pet. Alcohol can lead to a drop in blood sugar, blood pressure, and body temperature.
4. There is good news! While many foods are unhealthy and potentially dangerous for your pet, there are a few that may be safe to give in small quantities. A small amount of turkey (no bones or skin) can be a holiday treat, but stick with white meat. Some vegetables, like plain green beans or loose corn, (no cobs!) are okay for dogs, but make sure you separate your pet’s portion before they’ve been slathered in butter.
5. After the meal is over and the dishes are clean, take a moment to make sure the garbage has been put away and is out of reach of your pet. Corn cobs and turkey bones can get stuck in the gastrointestinal tract and cause a blockage. Sharp turkey bones can scrape or puncture a pet’s gastrointestinal tract or other organs.
We hope you all have a safe and healthy Thanksgiving!