Editor's note: We love our pets and rightly treat them like members of the family. So with Thanksgiving (and Christmas, too), we might be tempted to give them some extra treats from our big dinner feasts.
Our neighbors at the East Atlanta Animal Clinic offer these tips:
The smells of Thanksgiving fill your home and everyone’s mouth begins to water … including your pet’s! This time of year brings out the counter surfing talents of your pets. Taking care to keep irresistible flavors away from your pet's palate prevents unwanted illness. Many pets receive small amounts of trimmings from the kitchen throughout the year; however, Thanksgiving tends to bring out an overabundance in everyone. Here are some food items to be aware of:
- High fat foods, such as ham, gravy, butter, and desserts, may cause inflammation of your dog’s pancreas. Pancreatitis causes intense abdominal pain and vomiting and requires hospitalization to recover. Keep foods securely sealed and enclosed in a high space or the refrigerator. Secure the lid on the trash can to avoid garbage raiding.
- Bones: chewing on bones, particularly turkey bones, can cause splintering. Once swallowed, the splintered bones can cause trauma to the intestinal tract, requiring surgery. Ham bones, while they tend to not splinter, are hard and can fracture teeth during chewing.
- Onions and onion powder: in large enough quantities can cause a sudden onset of anemia.
- Foreign objects: such as string (used to tie the turkey), skewers, plastic bags and turkey poppers. Your pet does not have self-restraint or the common sense to avoid these objects that drip of meat juices.
Thanksgiving is not only a time for sharing food – it is a time to share with family and friends. If you expect a large number of people in your home, be sure to watch the door to make sure that there are no unexpected escapes. With all of the people in the house, some pets may become nervous with the change in routine. Provide your pet with a retreat space to unwind from it all.
If you want to offer your pet something special too, choose alternative treats such as a new toy or extra bonding and exercise time. At the end of the day, you will be thankful you did.
— East Atlanta Animal Clinic