Thanksgiving Safety Tips
It’s that turkey time of year! We want to remember to keep our pets safe during this holiday season. Not everything that we indulge in can be enjoyed by our pets. Here are a few tips to keep your pets safe this Thanksgiving season!
If you decide to feed your pet a TINY piece of turkey, make sure it’s boneless and well-cooked. Don’t offer her raw or undercooked turkey, which may contain salmonella bacteria.
Sage can make your Thanksgiving stuffing taste great. This and other herbs contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression to pets if eaten in large quantities. Cats are especially sensitive to these types of ingredients. FIX
No Bread Dough
Unbaked bread dough expands in the warm, moist environment of the stomach and can result in a bloated stomach (called “bloat”); this can then progress to a gastric-dilatation volvulus (GDV), which is a twisted stomach. All of which are life-threatening emergencies.
Cut the fat!
A few small boneless pieces of cooked turkey, a taste of mashed potato or even a lick of pumpkin pie can be harmful to your pet… Don’t allow your pets to overindulge, as they could wind up with a case of stomach upset, diarrhea or even worse—an inflammatory condition of the pancreas known as pancreatitis. In fact, it’s best keep pets on their regular diets during the holidays. FIX
Signs of pancreatitis include:
- Abdominal Pain
Don’t get stuffed on stuffing!
Stuffing may contain onions, garlic, or raisins—all toxic to dogs, so resist the urge to feed your dog human food. Onions and garlic are toxic to both dogs and cats (garlic is thought to be 5x’s more toxic). If ingested will destroy your pets red blood cells and cause them to be anemic. Can also cause gastrointestinal upset.
Grapes and raisins are a unique toxicity. Ingestion of both these lead to acute kidney failure in your dog. There is no true toxic dose for dogs, some dogs are sensitive to this toxicity and some are not. Therefore, if your pet has been exposed we treat all cases as potentially life threatening. The toxic component in grapes and raisins is still unknown to this day. FIX
Bones are bad
Although bones from our holiday turkey’s look good to pets, they are dangerous and can cause intestinal upset and may even splinter once digested. These splinters can cause damage to the intestines that can lead to infection, intestinal blockage, or even the death of the dog or cat if not treated appropriately.
Watch the garbage
Make sure you dispose of any turkey or other food packaging quickly and appropriately.
All strings, plastic holders and bags that have a meat smell to them can be very attractive to a pet. Once ingested, these items can cause damage or blockage of the intestines.
Chocolate is particularly toxic
Be careful of all the cookie and desserts offered during the holidays, many of which contain chocolate. The toxic component of chocolate is called theobromine. Dark chocolate is the most toxic, followed by baker’s chocolate, milk chocolate, then white chocolate. Ingestion can cause hyperactivity, elevated heart rate, and seizures in your dog and cat. FIX
While the humans are chowing down, give your cat and dog their own little feast. Offer them a special treat such as Virbac Veggie Dents or HexTra Chews. They’ll be happily occupied for awhile. This will also help pets that are overwhelmed by guests.
If you want to let them celebrate the holidays, offer them some safe vegetables such as carrots or green beans. Those are the safe holiday treats.
Keep an eye on pets!
Family and friends are in and out the door during the holiday, make sure your pets have proper identification on their collars or are microchipped. If they escape, you want them to get properly returned to you.
Remind your guest to no offer table scraps to your dog or cat.
On the morning of the holiday, exercise the dog to try to wear it out before guests arrive.