26 October 2011

Thanksgiving safety tips for your dog

The holiday season has started and as you know that means family, friends and more food than most of us could ever imagine eating. I am in the process of putting together a meal and while pies are baking I thought some tips on creating a safe Thanksgiving for your dog might come in handy.

Chocolate and Other Sweets
Chocolate contains theobromine which is toxic to dogs, so keep all chocolate treats and pies well out of reach of your dog. If you are serving raisins or grapes, those are also dangerous for your dog. Another danger is xylitol which is found in many chewing gums and other candy. Xylitol can seizures, low blood sugar, liver failure and can be fatal.

Foods on the Do Not Eat List
In addition to the sweeter things, your dog should not eat or drink any of these people foods:

  • Alcohol - can lead to a coma, and death.
  • Onions - all colors and varieties of onions can lead to a dangerous form of anemia that may not be detected for days. Can cause upset stomachs, diarrhea and even pancreatitis.
  • Dough - can cause pain, vomiting, and bloating. Can cause upset stomachs, diarrhea and even pancreatitis.
  • Macadamia nuts have caused weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs.
  • Sage is a common holiday ingredient and should be kept out of your dog’s reach to prevent upset stomach and central nervous system issues. 

Don’t Overindulge
This is great advice for people and pets during the holidays! First we should all pay attention to the high fat content of foods on the table. Dogs should not be overindulging and consuming fatty foods while they are enjoying the party and company because they can cause stomach upset, diarrhea and even life-threatening pancreatitis. You may need to instruct visitors that the dogs shouldn’t be getting handouts – sometimes it takes a good description of what happens to any excesses for folks to truly appreciate your guidelines.  A few thin strips of turkey on a dog's normal food is probably fine, but don't overdo it. Turkey skin can also cause problems with your dog's digestive system, so make sure if you are sharing turkey that any minimal treats are both skinless and boneless.

No turkey bones for your dog! The cooked bones can be extremely brittle, sharp and dangerous for your dog. If your dog were to consume turkey bones they could lodge in his digestive tract for days before you know about it and by then you have a full-blown emergency on your hands. Get bones and turkey carcasses well out of reach and dispose of them safely and properly. (The carcass could become an excellent turkey stock starter for leftovers.)

Poison Control
For more information on poisons that can harm your dog, please consult your veterinarian or the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 or ASPCA | Animal Poison Control Center.  ASPCA | People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets http://bit.ly/exUeYf

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