Thanksgiving is all about the food. But be aware, a sudden switch from dry or canned pet food to a plate full of turkey and stuffing can upset your pet’s digestive system, potentially leading to pancreatitis and gastroenteritis. More than just a tummy ache, these conditions can be very painful and even life-threatening to your pet.
This does not mean your pet has to be left out of the Thanksgiving celebration completely! Just remember to keep things simple and in moderation. The thing is, dogs and cats cannot handle rich, fatty foods like butter, cream and seasonings the way people can. It’s best to stick to small portions of plain turkey, mashed potatoes and vegetables like carrots or green beans. Make sure the turkey is well cooked and don’t forget to remove the bones and skin. Remember, bones are NEVER safe to give to your pets. Keep in mind that while a tiny Thanksgiving meal will not harm your pet, there are a few toxic foods that must be avoided. These include onions, grapes, raisins and chocolate.
While seasonal decorations may not seem dangerous, some can present a problem for pets. Candles, in particular, should be kept out of reach of curious cats and dogs that can burn themselves or start a fire if the candle is knocked over.
Don’t think your pet is safe just because the food isn’t on the table anymore! A turkey carcass sitting out on the carving table, or left in a trash container that can be easily opened, could be deadly to your family pet. Dispose of turkey carcasses, bones and anything used to wrap or tie the meat, such as strings, bags and packaging. It’s best to dispose of these items in a covered, tightly secured trash bag placed in a closed trash container outdoors. Remember that bones can break easily and sharp pieces can be swallowed – this may cause a blockage or tearing of the intestines.
If you fry your turkey, be sure to use your turkey fryer in an area that your pet can’t get to. Even after the turkey is long eaten, the oil may still hot and the smell can be a tempting and dangerous lure for your pets.
Food wrappings such as aluminum foil, wax paper and turkey strings should also be kept out of reach. Remember, when used to cook with, these items become just as irresistible to your pet as the food itself! Once clean-up is done it’s time to relax and snuggle up with who else other than your best friend on four feet!