Thanksgiving is the biggest food holiday of the year. Unfortunately, it can become a dangerous obstacle course for pet owners. Below, a holistic veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ shares their top tips for keeping your pets safe and healthy this Thanksgiving.
Do not feed food scraps to pets
Many human foods are poisonous to pets. As such, if you choose to let your pets roam around the dining room during Thanksgiving dinner, you must refrain from feeding them food from your plate. Inform your guests of these dangers and give strict instructions to not sneak food to your pets under the table. Common human foods that can make pets sick include:
- Fatty foods: Turkey skin, bacon, meat scraps, fatty meat drippings and butter can cause real harm—especially when consumed in excess. Consumption can trigger vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea and abdominal pain, leading to pancreatitis.
- Grapes and raisins: Raisins, grapes and currants are popular ingredients in Thanksgiving foods to add a little chewiness and natural sweetness. But for dogs, eating these foods even in small amounts can result in acute renal failure.
- Yeast dough: Yeast is used in many baked holiday treats, like pie dough and breads. Yeast can cause painful gas and dangerous bloating in pets.
Don’t give sweets to cats or dogs
Sweet desserts like chocolate, pie, cake, cookies and candy are absolutely not safe for pets to eat. Both refined sugar and artificial sweeteners are dangerous—most notably, the artificial sweetener xylitol, which is commonly used in sugar-free desserts, candy and gum. Nuts are on the same list as fatty foods and are also unsafe for pets, meaning chocolate covered nuts should definitely be kept away from pets.
Dump turkey brine
An edible you might not have considered bad for pets to consume is turkey brine. This is a salty liquid some people soak their turkeys in prior to cooking. The salty brine can be tasty to pets, so make sure you dispose of it and clean up any spills immediately. If ingested, your dog or cat could fall victim to salt toxicosis. Symptoms include excessive thirst and urination, diarrhea and vomiting.
Keep the trash bin out of reach of pets
Between turkey bones, fat trimmings, corn cobs, used napkins and more, holiday food garbage can harm or kill pets, so use a can with a lid, don’t leave food on the table or counter unattended, and consider throwing away food refuse and packaging in the outside garbage can immediately.
Take quick action
Keep the number for your veterinarian or an emergency animal clinic on hand in the event that your pet eats something dangerous or is poisoned. Alternatively, you can call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline at 888-426-4435.
For safety’s sake, consider making pets comfortable in their crates this Thanksgiving instead of letting them roam around the kitchen table. For more information about keeping pets safe, contact Newkirk Family Veterinarians to speak with a holistic veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ!