While the “giving” spirit may have you passing some of that turkey to your cat or dog, we assure you that it’s a bad idea. Here are some things that you can do to prevent these common dangers for pets that come with Thanksgiving dinner.
- Do not throw your dog (or cat) a bone: Turkey bones (or bones from any meat) can splinter and shards can be swallowed by your pet. These bone shards can proceed to wreak havoc on their digestive tract and do severe physical damage that could lead to major surgery or even death. Even small bones that can be swallowed whole can be detrimental.
- Do not give them meat or skins from your dinner table: Fatty foods are significantly more difficult for cats and dogs to digest than for humans. Giving them table foods (like turkey) that are fatty as well as seasoned can cause their pancreas to inflame (pancreatitis), which can be fatal.
- Do not let Fido or Kitty get in the trash: The smell of that turkey hide in the trash can be irresistible to some pets. Make sure your trash is locked away where it cannot be accessed or take the trash out a few days early.
- Do not share your dessert: Overloading your pet on sugar can also lead to pancreatitis; plus, many people are turning to sugar-free desserts (since nearly everyone has a family member with some kind of sugar-related dietary restriction these days). Some sugar substitutes contain a sugar-alcohol called xylitol. Xylitol is extremely toxic to cats and dogs and can cause seizures, liver failure, or even death.
- Be sure that your family knows how to properly treat your pet: If small children are joining your festivities, teach them how to properly greet and treat your pet. Make sure that your dog is not using puppy-dog-eyes on your favorite Uncle, who in turn sneaks dangerous food underneath the table. If your pet is overwhelmed by all your family members coming over, set up a safe, quiet room for them with their favorite toy.
- Make sure to have an emergency vet’s information on hand: Most veterinary hospitals close for the holidays, so make sure that you have information on the closest hospital that will be open on Thanksgiving!
We hope that every pet and family has a wonderful Thanksgiving this year! Here at Emerald Animal Hospital, pet health is our #1 priority; give us a call at 216-749-7161 to set up an appointment for your beloved four-legged family member and we’ll do our best to take care of your individual pet’s needs.