It’s almost Thanksgiving. This is a time when we humans tend to overindulge at the table a little bit. We may also be tempted to share the bounty with our animal companions, but there’s a few things to be aware of.
Turkey and turkey skin, sometimes even just a bit, can induce pancreatitis in pets. Because fatty foods are especially hard for animals to digest, these are not things that you should share.
In addition to the danger of turkey meat and skin itself, be sure to keep the leftovers out of reach of pets. Even a trash container that is able to be “broken into” should be moved outside or into some secure location like the garage because the bones can be extremely dangerous, as can strings and other packaging that comes along with turkey and some of the other items we use for the Thanksgiving meal.
There are also a few things you probably don’t know are unsafe for pets. Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, vomiting, treasures and hyperthermia in dogs, with symptoms appearing within 12 hours and lasting up to two days. Other nuts, such as walnuts or almonds and pecans our fatty and oily, which can induce vomiting or cause diarrhea and pancreatitis.
Salty foods can lead to elevated body temperatures, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures and even death. Don’t give your pets snacks like potato chips.
Although most dogs love cheese, milk and dairy products, when consumed in more than small doses, can lead to diarrhea or digestive problems.
The onion family — including garlic and chives — can cause gastrointestinal problems and red blood cell damage, especially in cats. Dogs are susceptible if they eat a lot of them.
Most people know by now that chocolate is a dangerous substance for cats and dogs but so, you might not be aware, is yeast dough. So if you are baking your own bread, make sure you leave it to rise where your pet is not going to be tempted to check it out. It can cause gas and dangerous bloating.
In addition to dangerous foods, consider some other precautions over the Thanksgiving weekend.
If you are decorating with flowers and plants, remember that several of them are toxic to pets, including Sweet William, hydrangeas, amaryllis, baby’s breath and some ferns. Table decorations like dried fruit and gourds are not toxic, but can cause illness if chewed on or swallowed.
And if you’re having lots of guests, make sure that the comings and goings do not give your pet an opportunity to escape and put themselves in danger. Also be aware if the presence of a lot of visitors create anxiety in your pet. Some animals who are not used to children, for example, can be very nervous by these unusual little humans and may react defensively, which could end up harming the child and the pet.
So please be safe this weekend – and give thanks for the animals and people in our lives!