Thanksgiving Day is one of the only times people allows themselves to over indulge, tripling their daily caloric intake while enjoying mounds of mashed potatoes and stuffing, turkey smothered in gravy, string bean casseroles and variations of pecan, pumpkin and apple pies.
While it’s completely acceptable for you to indulge on Thanksgiving, table scraps from the holiday feast can be fatal for your pet.
According to an article published by YourHoustonNews.com, high-calorie, high-fat foods including “poultry skin, gravy and dressing,” may lead to a potentially fatal disease in pets called pancreatitis, “which causes severe abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.”
Symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs include a tucked-up belly and assuming prayer position due to severe abdominal pain. “Abdominal pain is caused by the release of digestive enzymes into the pancreas and surrounding tissue, causing the dog to experience diarrhea, dehydration, weakness and possibly shock,” (YourHoustonNews.com). A single stint of pancreatitis may kill your pet within hours or leave your pet diabetic and needing to take special enzymes for the rest of his life just to digest food.
It’s not just the unhealthy holiday foods that are toxic to your pet; even healthier foods such as onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, chocolate and sugar substitutes containing xylitol may contain toxins that are fatal to your pet.
PetMD recommends giving your pet, in moderation “white meat from the turkey without skin and fat; vegetables cooked without butter, seasoning or sauces,” as well as “sweet potatoes, carrots and beans; apple slices; raw carrots; and plain pumpkin from the can and not pie filling with added seasonings and sugar,” (YourHoustonNews.com).
In addition to looking out for these toxic foods, keep an eye out for foods that could get lodged in your pets throat or digestive tracts. “A corn cob may get lodged in a dog’s intestinal tract and cause a deadly obstruction. Or, turkey and chicken bones may splinter and become embedded in the animal’s digestive tract,” (YourHoustonNews.com). Although bones are common for pets to chew on, the cooking process makes poultry bones more likely to splinter and cause harm to your pet, sometimes requiring surgical removal.
To have a healthy, happy and safe Thanksgiving, keep all food out of your pet’s reach while preparing meals and serving them. Once meal time is over, mischievous pets may be tempted to rip into the garbage, so keep the garbage in places inaccessible to pets. Clear all leftovers as a precaution to prevent accidental poisoning. Most importantly, let your guests know not to feed your pet any foods without your approval, as it can be extremely harmful.
Everyone at The Bregman Vet Group wishes you, your family and your furry friends and healthy, happy and safe Thanksgiving Holiday.