Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate family, friends, and food. Your cat or dog is all but guaranteed to want to join in on the fun, bouncing around the kitchen and begging for scraps as the turkey gets prepared. But be careful what you let your pet sample; plenty of foods that are fine for humans might upset your dog or cat’s stomach, or even make him sick.
If you find yourself Googling something like “Dog ate Thanksgiving turkey,” or “What to do if my dog ate chocolate,” you should definitely give your vet a call. If he or she is out of the office, there should be an emergency number you can call to find out what to do next. In the meantime, we’ve put together a list of common Thanksgiving foods to proactively keep your pet away from, so that you can protect your companion and avoid an emergency call or trip to the vet in the first place.
You might think it’s okay to give your pet a little nibble of properly cooked, boneless, unseasoned turkey, but you should be wary of any form of the meat. Because fatty foods are difficult for pets to digest, even eating just a small amount of turkey can cause health issues. And while those extra add-ins like onions and garlic may create a delectable, perfectly-seasoned turkey dinner for you, they can irritate your pet’s stomach and even lead to red blood cell damage if your pup eats enough. Lastly, under no circumstances should you give your dog or cat raw or undercooked turkey–the meat could contain dangerous bacteria like E. coli. that can cause dogs and humans alike to sicken.
Most dogs love a good bone to chew, but don’t give into those soulful eyes you feel watching you as you carve up the turkey. Be aware of what kinds of bones you give your dog. Turkey or ham bones pulled straight from your meal aren’t safe for your furry friend. Not only could she choke on these kinds of bones, the bones might actually snap or splinter into shards and get stuck or even puncture her digestive tract. Stick with bones and chews that are safe for your dog, like our elk antler chews.
If you own a pet, chances are that you’ve heard chocolate is toxic for cats and dogs. But do you know why the substance isn’t good for them? Chocolate, as well as coffee, contains methylxanthines. When pets eat these substances, they can wind up with diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, and even death. You might not think of chocolate as a common treat during Thanksgiving, but baking chocolate is present in more recipes than you’d think–and it contains a higher amount of methylxanthines than white, milk, or dark chocolate.
You should never give your pet alcohol, holiday dinner or not. Not only can it make her tipsy and likely to injure herself, alcohol can land your pet in an emergency situation. If cats or dogs consume a certain amount of alcohol, they can experience trouble breathing, diarrhea, problems with their central nervous system, and even death. Make sure to keep the liquor cabinet firmly closed and all open drinks out of reach for your curious cat or dog. If you do find your pet guzzling a drink, keep in mind that cats and dogs are a lot smaller than humans, so it doesn’t take as much alcohol to negatively affect them.
It’s important to focus on keeping your pet away from any foods that may be harmful to her, but don’t forget about other dangers. Decorative plants and flowers like Baby’s Breath, poinsettias, and hydrangeas are toxic to dogs. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have those colorful red flowers as a centerpiece at your Thanksgiving meal; just be aware of your dog’s behavior. Will an entire turkey gracing the table be too much for your dog to resist? Is he going to take a flying leap and start gobbling up everything on the table, including the decorative plant? If that’s the case, you may want to be careful where you display your plants, and consider crating your dog or keeping him out of the room while you enjoy dinner.
Celebrate Thanksgiving by Supporting Your Pet’s Health with Wapiti
We know that the holidays are busy. One of the last things you want to be worrying about is a sick pet. At Wapiti Labs, we create natural supplements that support your pet’s health so you can enjoy a great holiday season and a healthy pet year round. Our G.I. Tract supplement helps reduce stomach discomfort while supporting digestion and bowel health. The natural supplement comes specially formulated for dogs or cats, so you can pick the right formula to help your pet stay healthy.