Five Tips For A Happy Thanksgiving For You And Your Dog
1. Food in moderation
Turkey around Thanksgiving is a must. Of course, with that comes a dog sniffing out scraps that fall on the floor, or giving you puppy dog eyes in the hope that you’ll share some with them. Giving your dog a little leftover turkey is not a bad thing, but only in small amounts. Remove any excess fat or skin from the meat to cut the extra calories – overloading your dog with turkey can cause him to gain weight, which in itself can lead to other problems down the road.
2. The absolute no-nos
Sharing is fun, but there are some people-foods that are poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts can cause major problems so make sure you never let your dog get:
- Onions and close members of the onion family (shallots, garlic, scallions) in any form. They contain a compound; thiosulphate and the ingestion of this causes a condition called hemolytic anemia which is damage to the red blood cells.
- Raisins and grapes, which cause acute kidney failure - dogs that have ingested grapes or raisins should be taken straight to the veterinarian for treatment.
- Chocolate, which contains a compound called theobromine. The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is. If your dog happens to eat chocolate, call your veterinarian and talk to them about the next steps.
- Xylitol. This sugar substitute can be found in sugar-free gums, candies, baked goods, toothpaste, and cough syrup. If your dog ingests any item that contains the ingredient xylitol, call your veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately. Xylitol can cause hypoglycemia, seizures, liver failure and death.
3. Dog-friendly side dishes
Some common side dishes that show up on your dinner table are OK to share with your dog, but again, only in small amounts! Mashed potatoes are OK, but they need to be plain – no added butter! Green beans are a nice treat, and very nutritious for your pet – plain-Jane of course!
4. Be careful of those bones!
You might think that chewing on a bone is normal for a dog, but they can be dangerous! Poultry bones can be swallowed whole by most dogs, and are prone to splintering. Bone splinters can puncture your dog’s stomach or intestine, and can even cause an intestinal blockage. This can lead to lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and anorexia – and these symptoms require immediate veterinary attention. Small bones are not the only culprit here, big bones that are chewed up by the dog still have potential for internal complications.
So be sure to dispose of your turkey bones safely, in a location that your dog can’t get to.
5. Don’t forget to exercise
Around the holidays, we are all packing in some additional calories, and most of us allow our dog to splurge a little as well. Remember to take a long walk, a hike, or play with a ball in the backyard to help your pup burn extra calories and stay in good shape. He will enjoy the attention as much as the treats!