Enjoy a Safe Thanksgiving with Your Pets
Of course, your pet is a member of the family, but when it comes to family celebrations, a little caution is in order. Holidays such as Thanksgiving are often centered around food, and Fido or Fluffy will naturally assume they deserve a piece of the pie, too! That’s why it’s important to know what’s OK to share and what isn’t.
Treats to Avoid
There are some main and side dishes that your dogs and cats definitely shouldn't get on their own Thanksgiving plate. Traditional holiday foods to avoid include:
Stuffing. Stuffing ingredients like fresh or dried garlic, chives, shallots and onion are dangerous to cats and dogs. In small amounts, these members of the allium plant family can cause intestinal distress. But if big helpings of stuffing are eaten, your pets could even develop life-threatening anemia. Needless to say, other side dishes like garlicky mashed potatoes or creamed onions are best reserved for human guests.
Turkey bones. There will be no shortage of turkey bones after your meal, but save them to flavor the stew pot rather than giving them to dogs to gnaw on. Fowl bones are notorious for breaking off in jagged pieces, causing internal damage to animals.
Chocolate. If brownies or chocolate-pecan pie are on the dessert table, keep pets well away. Compounds found in the ingredient are toxic for pets, especially the darker types of baking cocoa powder or chips.
Sugar-free candies and desserts. Healthy alternatives to sugar are great for human guests, but hidden dangers to cats and dogs lurk in these goodies. The sweetener Xylitol has been linked to everything from vomiting to death when ingested by household pets.
Decadent dishes. Buttery potatoes, candied yams, rich gravy and bacon-topped casseroles — they’re all staples of the holiday table. But for pets, fatty and sugary foods tend to lead to vomiting, diarrhea, or worse. The richer the dish, the more it should be protected from greedy cats and dogs.
What's OK in Moderation
Those puppy-dog eyes can be hard to resist at Thanksgiving, so keep in mind that there are some traditional foods that can be slipped into the pet food dish that are fairly risk-free. Boneless turkey, unbuttered rolls and mashed potatoes, and plain green beans and corn kernels are fine in moderation.
You never know what a well-meaning relative might have slipped your dog or cat under the table. For that reason, keep an eye on your pets throughout the day. If you notice any unsteady walking, lethargy, vomiting or other signs of distress, don’t hesitate to get your pet emergency treatment.
Remember, we’re here to help, during the holiday season and throughout the year. We can diagnose and treat your dogs, cats and other pets right at our facility, and we're always available to answer concerns and questions.