Thanksgiving 2017 Pet Safety
Posted November 19, 2017
Although you may consider your pet a part of the
family, there are many reasons why he should not join you at the
dinner table during Thanksgiving. Dr. Stacy Eckman, clinical
assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary
Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, explained why.
Turkey is often the main course of a Thanksgiving meal. If you
decide to treat your pet to a piece of turkey, be sure it is
boneless and thoroughly cooked, just as you would for yourself to
prevent salmonella poisoning. Fully cooked and boneless ham is also
OK to feed your pet, however, Eckman said to avoid giving your pet
ham that has excess fat and is seasoned with additional sugars.
Fatty foods can upset your pet’s stomach and cause vomiting and
diarrhea. This can progress to dehydration or pancreatitis.
“If the food is different from your pet’s regular diet, it’s
more likely they will have digestive upset,” Eckman said. “Vomiting
and diarrhea secondary to table food ingestion are the most common
reasons we see pets in the emergency room or veterinary hospital
after the holidays.”
You should also avoid letting your pet chew on any sort of
leftover bones, including ham and turkey bones, as they can be
problematic to the digestive tract.
“Bones can become lodged in the throat or esophagus and can
cause problems throughout the intestinal tract,” Eckman said. “They
can also splinter, and the bone may require surgery to remove.”
Raw dessert batter is also unsafe for your pet. Be sure to keep
Fido’s nose out of the mixing bowl to prevent any consumption of
raw eggs, which are sometimes contaminated with salmonella. If you
are planning on making homemade bread, raw yeast bread dough can
also pose as a threat to your pet. If consumed, the yeast will
continue to convert the sugars in the dough to carbon dioxide gas
and alcohol, resulting in a bloated, drunken pet. This can be a
life-threatening situation that can require hospitalization.
Raisins and grapes, which can cause kidney damage, and chocolate,
which can be fatal for dogs, should also be kept out of your pet’s
If you absolutely must provide a special holiday treat for your
pet, there are safe options that will still leave Fido begging for
more. Try sticking as close to your pet’s normal diet as possible
by offering them a bowl of their usual food mixed with lean,
boneless, and skinless pieces of turkey. If you have fresh
vegetables available, such as green beans or sweet potatoes, they
will make an excellent addition to your pet’s healthy Thanksgiving
To ensure your pet’s safety this Thanksgiving, be sure to keep
them away from any harmful food products. In the spirit of the
holiday season, your pet will be forever grateful for keeping them
healthy during Thanksgiving dinner.
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