The staff and animals at the ARL extend a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and their pets. Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude and being with those we love. I hope that your pets are included in your holiday celebration. Just as Thanksgiving can be loads of fun, it also may be hazardous for our pets. Undoubtedly, Thanksgiving is about food, and we want to share the love with our pets by giving them some of our special feasts. Here are a few reminders of things NOT to give to your pets:
Turkey: No dark meat, skin or bones. Although many pets are okay with white meat, some may not be able to handle it. My dog is one of them - he gets terrible diarrhea from just the tiniest piece - so it’s usually best to avoid all turkey if you’re not sure.
Onions: I love onions in stuffing, as do most people, so please be careful if you are tempted to give your pet this tasty treat. Onions can cause fatal anemia in dogs.
Chocolate: Theobromine in chocolate affects pets’ nervous systems and may lead to death. Dark chocolate contains higher levels of theobromine. Carob is a substitute for chocolate if you really want to give your pets a sweet treat.
Raisins/Grapes: Fruit should be healthy for pets because it’s healthy for us, right? Not true. Raisins and large quantities of grapes can kill dogs because they contain a chemical which harms the dogs’ kidneys. Some other fruits can harm pets - the seeds/pits of apples, cherries, apricots, plums and peaches contain a type of cyanide which can be harmful.
Fatty Foods (such as gravy): Dogs are susceptible to pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas, which can occur from too much fat. Symptoms of pancreatitis are vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.
Avoid too many table scraps: A change in your pet’s diet can also cause pancreatitis. So if you give your pet too much human food, it can upset their pancreas.
Some other tips to keep your pets safe:
Secure your garbage cans: Although you may be diligent with not giving your pets any of the above foods, the smells in our garbage cans entice the craftiest pet to explore and indulge.
Keep pets out of the kitchen if possible when cooking and serving: Hot foods could accidentally fall or spill on your pets, knives can be dropped, hot ovens and stoves are hazardous. Not to mention, pets can get in our way. Anyone ever tripped on your pet? How embarrassing to be serving that beautiful roast turkey and send it flying in the air because your dog or cat cut you off!
Train your guests: Some of your guests may love your pets as much as you do and want to share their food with them. Remind them of the above hazards and kindly request that they comply.
Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!