Kelly's Dog Blog — Dogs and Thanksgiving

How to avoid a visit to the emergency vet

November 21, 2018
Categories: 

Talk about the quintessential buzzkill. It’s Thanksgiving Day and after hours in the kitchen, you finally get to sit down with family and friends to that glorious meal. You haven’t even drizzled the giblet gravy on your plate when you hear a strange hacking, then look over to see your Basset Hound Barney acting strange.

Hoping it will pass, you try and continue with the meal. You look over at Barney, who is quiet now, but breathing very heavily and looking a bit disoriented. 

Now concerned, you ask the group, “Did anyone give Barney anything to eat?” Your guests look puzzled, some even shrugging their shoulders. The two toddlers in the group are understandably oblivious.

Within the hour, instead of enjoying a slice of pumpkin pie, you and Barney are sitting in the waiting room of the emergency veterinarian. 

Related: More Pet Safety Tips

This is a hypothetical situation that can be avoided. Play it safe this Thanksgiving (and always) by not feeding these items to your pet — and keeping an eye on any children who might sneak food to your dog:

Turkey: Raw or undercooked turkey may contain salmonella bacteria. Even left-over bones can splinter and pose problems for your pet’s digestive tract. 

Raw bread dough: According to the ASPCA, the yeast continues to convert sugars to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol, which in turn can cause abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting and disorientation. 

Cake: Raw eggs may contain salmonella bacteria and could result in food poisoning.

Chocolate: Chocolate, especially dark chocolate and Baker's chocolate, can result in vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, increased heart rate or seizures.

Nuts: Nuts, which are high in fat, increase risk of pancreatitis. Macadamia nuts in particular may lead to vomiting, diarrhea or unsteady walking.

Fatty foods: Butter, gravy, bacon and other delicious fatty goods can pose serious threats of pancreatitis in pets. 

Raisins, grapes, currants: Consuming these may result in acute renal failure in dogs.

Discarded food items: Just like discarded turkey bones, other discarded items such as corn cobs can lead to obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract. This may require surgery.

Xylitol (artificial sweetener): Found in candies or sweetened desserts, xylitol can decrease a dog’s blood sugar and result in liver damage.

Alcohol and Caffeine: Do we really need to elaborate here? 

Even if your dog doesn't require an emergency trip to the vet, you clearly have enough to clean up after the Thanksgiving meal without throwing vomit and diarrhea into the mix.

Be smart, attentive and even accomommodating — have special dog treats on hand for your pets so they can enjoy the holiday, too. 

Happy Thanksgiving for all.