Thanksgiving is a wonderful time when we are surrounded by family, friends and delicious foods. Unfortunately, this can be a dangerous time for your pet. Here are some tips to help you avoid an emergency trip to the veterinarian this Thanksgiving.
1. Keep Pets Away From the FoodKeep pets confined to a separate room or kennel. This avoids an escape when guests are coming and going from your home and keep pets out of the kitchen where they may get stepped on and injured.
2. Don’t Share FoodAvoid sharing table scraps with your pet. Many Thanksgiving foods are dangerous for your pet. Here are some common examples:
- Fatty table scraps (gravy, turkey skin, etc) can cause abdominal pain, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea and pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).
- Bones can irritate or become lodged in the stomach, intestines or colon. This can become a life-threatening, surgical emergency.
- Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure. Symptoms such as anorexia, vomiting and lethargy can take days to develop. By this time the damage to these vital organs has already happened.
- Chocolate contains toxins that cause vomiting, diarrhea, agitation, tremors, seizures and possibly life-threatening heart conditions. It is especially important to watch out for baking chocolate, dark chocolate and milk chocolate.
- Onions, leeks, chives, and garlic can cause damage to red blood cells causing them to rupture. This can result in anemia (low red blood cell count) and can take days to develop.
- Xylitol is a sugar substitute that causes a dangerously low blood sugar in dogs. It can also cause liver failure. This product is commonly found in baked goods, gums, mints and a variety of other products. Make sure to check the product label if your pet eats anything unusual.
- Uncooked yeast bread dough will rise once in your pet’s warm stomach. This causes painful abdominal bloating and can result in a life-threatening condition where the stomach twists.
- Nuts (especially macadamia nuts and walnuts) have been shown to cause weakness, muscle spasms, and seizures.
- Alcohol – our pets are much more sensitive to alcohol than we are. These drinks can quickly cause confusion, difficulty walking, depression, low blood sugar, slowed breathing, and coma.