Thanksgiving Safety Tips

Thanksgiving_dogs-150x150The winter holidays can be fun for the whole family, but let’s make sure it’s not a dangerous time for your pet. Thanksgiving centers around food, so here are a few tips to protect your pet and avoid a visit to the veterinarian.

 Cut the fat:

Fatty or rich foods like beef fat, poultry skin and gravy can cause severe gastrointestinal issues in pets, including:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive gas
  • Serious diseases like pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is a severe inflammation of the pancreas, an organ that produces digestive enzymes. On the mild side, pancreatitis can cause vomiting and a decrease in appetite, but can potentially be fatal.

If you want to treat your pet, it’s best to stick to a pet treat or a couple of small bites of lean poultry or unsalted/unbuttered vegetables.

Bones are bad:

Although bones from our holiday birds look good to pets, they are dangerous and can cause intestinal upset and may even splinter once digested.

Watch the packaging:

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:

Consider all the cookie and desserts offered during the holidays, many of which contain chocolate.

Chocolate is dangerous for dogs in particular because it contains theobromine, a caffeine-like ingredient that can be toxic to your pet. Dogs are not able to metabolize theobromine as quickly as humans. Complications include:

  • Digestive issues
  • Dehydration
  • Excitability
  • Slow heart rate

Later stages of theobromine poisoning include epileptic-like seizures and death. Keep your pet away from dark, semi-sweet and baker’s chocolate because they contain higher levels of theobromine.

Source:  Banfield

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