4 Tips For Thanksgiving Pet Safety

By Dr. Marisa Pasekoff, Managing Veterinarian

Turkey, pumpkin pie, yummy cookies – this time of year offers such deliciousness!

We’re not the only ones who want to partake in the feasts. I know in my house, my dogs become permanent fixtures under the table just hoping that even the slightest morsel of food might drop down to them. I’m sure it isn’t random that they particularly like to place themselves under my kids’ seats.

It would be hypocritical of me to tell you not to feed your pets any table food, but caution must be taken when you decide what to feed. Most people are aware of the obvious toxicities – chocolate, grapes, raisins – but there are many lesser known ingredients that can be harmful to your pets.

Here are 4 tips for a fulfilling Thanksgiving that your pets can enjoy too:

  1. Talkin’ Turkey: If you decide to feed your pet a small bite of turkey, make sure it’s boneless and well cooked. Do not offer them raw or undercooked turkey as it may contain salmonella bacteria. Also, it’s not a good idea to give your pet the left over carcass – the bones can be problematic for their digestive tract.
  2. No Bread Dough: Don’t spoil your pet’s holiday by giving them access to raw yeast bread dough. When a dog or cat ingests raw dough, the yeast continues to convert the sugars in the dough to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol. This can result in bloated drunken pets, which could become a life-threatening emergency, requiring hospitalization.
  3. Don’t Let Them Eat Cake: If you plan to bake Thanksgiving desserts, be sure your pets keep their noses out of the batter, especially if it includes raw eggs as they could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.
  4. A Feast Fit for a King: While your family enjoys a special meal, give your cat and dog a small feast of their own. Try stuffing their usual dinner with a few added tidbits of turkey and vegetables (try sweet potato or green beans). Rinse the turkey before giving it to your furry friend as some spices are toxic to pets and the fat could lead to pancreatitis.

Be sure to also check out ASPCA’s full list of ingredients to be wary of to ensure your pet is safe this Thanksgiving.

If you are ever unsure if your pet has gotten into something that they shouldn’t have, please call us. If we are unsure, we can direct you to the Poison Control hotline.

From all of us at Rocky Gorge Animal Hospital, have a wonderful and safe holiday season.

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