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Ask Nancy: Thanksgiving cautions

November 16, 2010

Food usually abounds at holiday time and Thanksgiving is a time we often want to share our warm feelings with our pets by offering food treats. Then too food left out at mouth access height can be impossible to resist temptation for a pet. The wrong kind of treat can make the holiday weekend extra long as you try to find an emergency vet instead of the best shopping spots so its best to be careful what treats your pets get.

  • Make sure dips, and nuts, particularly macadamia nuts, are well out of reach. Don’t rely on the trash can to safely contain anything as scrumptious as turkey bones, ham rind, turkey skin or any sort of cooking fat etc. Foils covered with foods may also be consumed by a dog that smells only the yummy treat on the surface.
  • If you want to share a treat with the dogs and cats then make sure it’s a low fat one. While turkey is not ‘poisonous’ to dogs or cats a sudden influx of fat from turkey skin or gravy can cause digestive upset so limit treats of turkey to small portions of the plain meat. Remember it doesn’t have to be a big amount to be a treat and small dogs and cats should only get a very little bit.
  • For dogs a spoonful of squash or sweet potato can be a nice treat but skip the butter or sour cream! Avoid any chocolate, fatty foods such as green bean casserole, and of course onions are not a good idea even if the cream sauce is inviting.
  • Make sure the pets are safely confined to where an open door will not mean an escape and where they can’t get on the laden table to help themselves while the humans are busy getting ready for the meal.
  • Keep alcoholic drinks out of reach. While eggnog may be yummy to a pet’s nose the alcohol is apt to be a danger for the smaller body sizes of pets.
  • Inform guests that the pets are not to be fed without asking you first as you don’t want them to get ill. For expert beggars you might want to add a nice bright bandana or t-shirt that says “Don’t Feed Me!” to remind company to ignore those melting eyes.

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