Food Safety For Pets During Thanksgiving

During the Thanksgiving celebrations, we all look forward to the big get together and large meals, with turkey and all the trimmings, desert and after dinner snacks, if we haven’t overdone it with dinner. However, this is also a time when we, or our guests, may forget about what to allow our pets to eat during this time. Moreover, especially with guests, seeing those wide puppy eyes looking like they are almost about to cry, many of us give in and think this will be okay to give him some, so here today we will be looking at what we shouldn’t give our pets during this time of celebration.

It is important for our guests to know what they can and cannot give our pets as treats, and at thanksgiving time there are many things on the menu that we should steer clear of. Having said that, one main ingredient that many people, even pet owners, think is alright to give our pets is the turkey skin, but turkey skin can have some dangerous effects on both dogs and cats. For instance, many people do not think about how long the turkey has been marinated, and what spices and herbs the turkey was seasoned with beforehand, and these spices and herbs can be very dangerous to our pets.

Gravy is another tempting treat for dogs and cats, but they should be kept away from gravies, especially if it is made with any spices or herbs, including mushrooms, garlic, onions, leeks and sage. Another surprising ingredient used at thanksgiving is cranberry sauce, and although cranberries don’t generally harm pets, cranberry sauce has other ingredients, like lots of sugar or high fructose corn syrup which can have an adverse effect on pets. Moreover, even homemade cranberry sauce can be unhealthy for both dogs and cats, especially if you use sugar, or other ingredients such as nuts or raisins as these can be deadly.

That being said, turkey or chicken bones should never be fed to either dogs or cats as these can splinter and cause havoc in a pets internal system, from blockages to puncturing internal parts, which can lead to an expensive trip to the vet or hospital. Baking bread and cakes is another traditional thing we do at thanksgiving and it should also be pointed out, that we shouldn’t let our pets get hold of any dough or cake batter. The trouble with dough, yes even cookie dough, and cake batter is it can rise in the stomach and cause bloating and become very painful for the pet, and even humans are not recommended to eat raw cake batter or cookie dough due to the risk of salmonella.

Mash potatoes is another popular dish at thanksgiving and although potatoes aren’t generally a problem with pets, it’s the ingredients that go into them. For instance, if you use butter or milk in your potatoes this can give pets diarrhea, especially those pets that are lactose intolerant, and don’t forget other extra ingredients like garlic and onions, even in powdered form are toxic to animals. Grapes, raisins, and nuts can be extremely toxic to our pets, in some cases these can even cause death, so be wary of ingredients in salads and side dishes that may contain any of these ingredients.

Pumpkin and sweet potatoes are quite good for our dogs, but it’s a completely different story when it comes to thanksgiving pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie. Both sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie usually include nutmeg and cinnamon which are definitely not to be given to our pets. Nutmeg contains myristicin, which is a toxin which can cause seizures in pets and problems to the central nervous system, whereas cinnamon can cause low blood sugar, vomiting, diarrhea and even liver disease.

Remember, Thanksgiving is a time for fun and celebration, and if you want to include your pet in the activities be sure to make everyone aware of what not to give your pet. Alternatively, you can have a bowl of safe treats handy if anyone feels like giving fido a treat, and they can from the safe bowl. Insurance companies have stated that there is a spike in animal hospital visits where pets are concerned at thanksgiving holidays, so be safe, be aware, use some of these suggestions here today, and have fun with your friends, family and pets.

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