By Sheila Fitzpatrick, DVM
Thanksgiving is a fabulous, food- fille” holiday for families, but not necessarily the best holiday for your pet! As you are preparing the most delicious meal of the year in your kitchen, while the rest of the family is enjoying football and a relaxing day off, your pet may be contemplating just what table scraps he/she may be able to sneak off the table, scrape up off the floor or even get from the sympathetic owner! It has been found in a study by PET MD, that 56 percent of owners are likely to give their pet something from their Thanksgiving Feast. Knowing this, what is safe and not safe for your pet to ingest at Thanksgiving?
Bones- if not properly chewed, bones can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, and intestinal blockage in your pet! So please be sure to keep the bones out of your pet’s reach and dispose of them properly in a safely closed container. Other Thanksgiving concerns include:
1. Raw or undercooked turkey- raw or uncooked meat can carry dangerous bacterias that can cause severe gastric upset, leading to vomiting, bloody diarrhea and severe dehydration. If you are so tempted to give your pet turkey, be sure it is cooked thoroughly and is without any fat or skin, which also can lead to gastric upset, including pancreatitis in a pet.
2. Alcholol- while we all enjoy our beer in front of the game or our glass of white wine with dinner, our pets should not! Alcohol can lead to fever, rapid heartbeat, liver damage and even seizures. Again, keep your glasses and bottles out of reach of your pet to avoid any potential exposure.
3. Grapes and raisins- Though tasty in our fruit salads, just one grape can be toxic to a dog. Grapes and raisins both cause life threatening kidney failure, so again, keep your pet away!
4. Onions and garlic- These can flavor to our delicious meal, but onions and garlic are toxic to dogs, causing destruction of red blood cells leading to anemia.
5. Nutmeg- This can cause central nervous problems and even seizures in your pet. A must to avoid!
6. Mushrooms- These fungi can be healthy for you, but not for your pet! Ingestion of mushrooms can cause severe vomiting, seizures, and even death.
Knowing all this, what is safe for your pet?
1. Bread/rolls- Without butter and in small volumes, bread is just fine for your pet to ingest.
2. Green beans- Often used for pets dieting, green beans can be a tasty treat and filling for your pet
3. Lean, cooked turkey- Again, in moderation, without bones , fat or skin, turkey can be a good source of protein.
4. Sweet potatoes , mashed potatoes and pumpkin are safe for your pet, once again in moderation!
5. Cranberry sauce- In small volumes, this tasty treat can also be a part of your pet’s Thanksgiving feast but be careful of large volumes, due to the sugar content.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and remember, your pet can enjoy this holiday too as long as you keep these tips in mind! Happy Holidays and be safe!
Dr. Fitzpatrick an expert in her field, and a 1983 graduate of Ellicottville Central School. She’s also a graduate of Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and owns Mountain Mobile Veterinary Service in Eagle and Vail, CO, where she cares for small and large animals. She’s a frequent visitor to Ellicottville where her family still lives.