This is a time we are thankful for those around us who make our lives special – this includes our furry family members. As the dishes are cleared from the Thanksgiving table and food coma sets in, it is tempting to want to share the leftovers with our pets.
Please be careful! It’s natural to want to share, especially this time of year but we have to remember that our pets are not used to eating these foods. The results of overindulging could be quite serious and could ruin your plans for the rest of the holiday weekend.
If large pieces are swallowed they can cause intestinal obstructions requiring emergency surgery. Cooked bones are more likely to splinter and have sharp edges that can cause more serious internal injury.
Raw Turkey neck
I’ve heard of cases of people offering the raw turkey neck to their dogs as a treat (heeding the worries about cooked bones). Raw meats can harbor infectious bacteria like salmonella and campylobacter that can make your pet sick.=
Remember that onions and garlic (some of the favorite seasonings for “human food”) are toxic to dogs. When ingested in sufficient amounts they can cause serious anemia.
Rich fatty food
Offering up the drippings from the turkey pan, or scraping all the cleared plates into the dog’s food dish could set up for pancreatitis. The ingestion of a large fatty meal causes the pancreas to release extra digestive enzymes but if some of those enzymes get released too quickly they cause severe inflammation of the pancreas itself. The symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea can be serious enough to require hospitalization.
So, as you prepare for more feasts this season take special care and consideration with table scraps! Give your pets some special holiday treats made especially for them!
Dr. Lucy O’Byrne, DVM, CVA