The Only Locally-Owned Emergency and Specialty Hospital in Minnesota

5 Thanksgiving Pet Dangers

5 Thanksgiving Pet DangersHappy Thanksgiving! We know everyone’s favorite part of this holiday is the food. Turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, gravy, pumpkin pie…Sorry, didn’t mean to make your mouth water! With all of these delicious foods on the table, it’s no wonder our pets get tempted. With that being said, it’s important for pet owners to keep their pets safe from these common Thanksgiving pet dangers:
1. Toxic Foods
A Thanksgiving feast is full of pet toxins! Here are the top concerns:

  • Yeast Dough
  • Raw/Undercooked Meat
  • Xylitol (Often found in homemade baked goods, sugar-free candy, and gum)
  • Chocolate
  • Grapes, raisins, and currants
  • Alcohol
  • Onions, leeks, chives, and garlic
  • Nuts
  • Caffeine

2. Bones
DO NOT give your dog a turkey bone or the turkey carcass. Bones can break teeth, get stuck, or tiny pieces may even get stuck in the colon after scraping all the way through the intestines!
3. Pancreatitis
Even if you and your guests feed your dog food that isn’t considered toxic, there are still risks. The fatty table scraps covered in gravy and butter can cause abdominal pain, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, and pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). If you absolutely can’t resist those puppy eyes and if your pet is not on a special diet, a small piece of cooked and boneless turkey with a spoonful of plain mashed potatoes is okay- but let’s not get carried away.
4. Trash
Don’t let those trash bags pile up! Pets tend to get into the trash and help themselves to leftovers or even some bones (which can cause pancreatitis or bloat). If the trash contains food that is a few days old, it may be moldy which can cause muscle tremors, seizures, and even death. The safest option is to keep all trash in a secured location and bring full trash bags out to your curbside trash bin right away.
5. Décor
Some holiday plants and festive décor can be very hazardous. Those decorative plants might be toxic to your pets. Your cat might bite off a piece of that silk and berry centerpiece which could cause a blockage. Those pumpkin scented candles may smell good, but your pet’s tail could wag right into the flame. That festive ribbon around the silverware at each place setting might become a tempting toy to your cat which could cause intestinal problems, including obstruction, if eaten. We advise pet owners to keep these types of decorative items out of their pet’s reach or to skip them altogether.

To avoid a trip to the pet ER, we recommend keeping pets crated or in a separate room while cooking and during dinnertime. If you are hosting a Thanksgiving feast and you decide to let your pets roam, please remind your guests not to feed your pets and to never leave a plate or glass unattended.

We hope you, your family, and your pets have a wonderful Thanksgiving! If your pet does experience an emergency and your family veterinarian is unavailable, our St. Paul and Oakdale clinics are open 24/7, every day of the year, including Thanksgiving and the following holiday weekend!

By Janine Barnes

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