Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to come together with friends and family to give thanks and enjoy a delicious home cooked meal. It can also be a time when people find it hard to resist slipping the family pet a nibble of the Thanksgiving feast from the table. However, what may seem as a generous gesture can actually be harmful to your dog or cat’s health. Here are some holiday tips to keep your furry friends safe and avoid a trip to the veterinarian on Thanksgiving night:
If you decide to give your cat a dog a helping of turkey, make sure the meat is fully cooked. Undercooked or raw meat can leave them susceptible to salmonella poisoning. Check to make sure all bones are removed to reduce the risk of choking and select only the lean, white meat. Turkey fat and skin can lead to severe gastrointestinal issues, like vomiting, diarrhea, excessive flatulence and, in some cases, life-threatening conditions like pancreatitis.
Serious Side Safety
Similar to certain parts of the turkey, letting your pets indulge in sides that are rich in fats can lead to diarrhea and upset stomach at best and worst case pancreatitis.
Say No to Dough
According to the ASPCA, when ingested, raw bread dough mixed with an animal’s internal temperature can cause the dough to rise in its stomach. As the dough expands, the animal may experience vomiting, bloating and severe abdominal pain, which could become a life-threatening and require emergency surgery.
No Bones About It
Aside from being a choking hazard, cooked bones are often brittle, and sharp pieces can get lodged in your pet’s intestines. The bones of a bird, like chicken or poultry, are especially dangerous as they are hollow and easily susceptible to breaking.
Don’t Let Them Eat That Cake, Cake, Cake
As mentioned in a previous safety article, chocolate is fatally poisonous to dogs and cats, so keep sweets well out of their reach. Additionally, you should make sure your pets keep their noses out of the cake batter, which may contain raw eggs that have salmonella and could lead to food poisoning.
Plastic wrap, wax paper and aluminum foil will damage your pet’s intestinal track and cause obstruction. Make sure all wrapping is thrown away and the garbage is placed out of the way of pets. If you’re exchanging holiday gifts early, as some families tend to on this day, be sure to also keep wrapping and tissue paper away from your animals.
Everyone loves a holiday tablescape complete with a beautiful Thanksgiving floral arrangement. But, plants like poinsettias, holly berries, mistletoe and cedar Christmas are toxic to animals. Opt either for a safer flower bouquet or take steps to ensure the plants will be out of your pet’s reach at all times. This is easier with dogs than with cats, who may climb on the table out of curiosity.
For many families, the kitchen and dining area are the holiday hub for you and your guests, but it shouldn’t be for pets. With pots and pans, serving dishes and dinner plates being passed from one place to another, there’s a chance Fluffy or Fido could end up being burned by a dish’s spillover or caught under a guest’s foot.
Speaking of guests, it’s important to fill your friends in on the pet safety restrictions that you have set for your pet. Little does a child know that sharing her chocolate cupcake with the dog, or your great aunt giving your cat a couple sips of her homemade hard cider, can be a major risk to the pets’ health. Even if it’s safe for them to consume, too much of a good thing can still be detrimental as your pet’s overindulgence can lead to stomach problems.
With these tips, you’ll be able to keep your furry family members in good spirits and out of the emergency room this Thanksgiving. In the event that your pet gets into something harmful this holiday, contact your local Central Veterinary Associates clinic for medical assistance and remember that the Valley Stream location is open 24/7/365, including on Thanksgiving.