Thanksgiving is a special holiday, full of home cooking, visitors and gratitude, but it can also have some hazards for pets. I would like to share some tips with you to keep your pets safe and healthy through this holiday so everyone can have a good time!
Overindulging in food isn’t good for humans, but for pets, it can be even worse. Fatty foods are hard for animals to digest. Poultry bones can damage your pet’s digestive tract. And holiday sweets can contain ingredients that are poisonous to pets. Below are some specifics about some things that can do serious harm to your pets:
Keep the feast on the table – not under it. Eating turkey or turkey skin – sometimes even a small amount – can cause a life-threatening condition in pets known as pancreatitis. Fatty foods are hard for animals to digest, and many foods that are healthy for people are poisonous to pets – including onions, raisins and grapes. If you want to share a Thanksgiving treat with your pet, make or buy a treat that is made just for them.
No pie or other desserts for your pooch. Chocolate can be harmful for pets, even though many dogs find it tempting and will sniff it out and eat it. The artificial sweetener called xylitol – commonly used in gum and sugar-free baked goods – also can be deadly if consumed by dogs or cats.
Yeast dough can cause problems for pets, including painful gas and potentially dangerous bloating.
Put the trash away where your pets can’t find it. A turkey carcass sitting out on the carving table or left in a trash container that is open or easily opened, could be deadly to your family pet. Dispose of turkey carcasses and bones – and anything used to wrap or tie the meat, such as strings, bags and packaging – in a covered, tightly secured trash bag placed in a closed trash container outdoors (or behind a closed, locked door).
Be careful with decorative plants. Don’t forget that some flowers and festive plants can be toxic to pets. These include amaryllis, Baby’s Breath, Sweet William, some ferns, hydrangeas and more. The ASPCA offers lists of plants that are toxic to both dogs and cats, but the safest route is simply to keep your pets away from all plants and table decorations.
Quick action can save lives. If you believe your pet has been poisoned or eaten something it shouldn’t have, call your veterinarian or local veterinary emergency clinic immediately. You may also want to call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline: 888-426-4435. Signs of pet distress include: sudden changes in behavior, depression, pain, vomiting or diarrhea. Contact your veterinarian immediately.
I hope these tips help you keep your pets safe and healthy during the Thanksgiving holiday and I will be back next month to give you some more great tips for the December holidays!
Peace, love and biscuits to you and your pets! QCBN
By Ann Herrington
Ann Herrington is the publisher and editor of The Tucson Dog Magazine.