We can probably all attest to throwing a pet too many table scraps during one of his favorite dinners, or giving him that extra treat for finally learning how to roll over on command. His feverish delight at even the tiniest morsel is hard to ignore. So what happens when we’re sitting at the Thanksgiving dinner table that’s laden with food, and Fido is salivating profusely as he stares up at us? We need to be extra careful with this meal so as to avoid trips to the emergency room – the animal emergency room, that is.
The ASPCA provides some very useful tips on what your dog can be given from your tasty feast. For instance, before throwing a piece of turkey into your dog’s waiting mouth, check that it’s fully cooked and boneless to prevent bacterial infections, choking hazards, or digestive tract problems. Unattended drinks should be placed in out-of-reach areas, because a dog will certainly find your glass of red wine more interesting than his boring old tap water.
Another very important point to remember is not to overfeed. Regardless of how especially adorable his eyes look on Thanksgiving night, he has no conception of how much he’s actually ingesting; but we do, and it’s our responsibility to monitor that. Giving him too much to eat can lead to life-threatening conditions such as pancreatitis, caused by inflammation from over-consumption. Turkey skin and gravy are two of the worst items because of their high fat content.
All of this means keeping an eye on the younger members of the family who are likely to drop food accidentally or think giving the dog all their unwanted food under the table is a great trick. A great way to distract a dog is to invest in a toy like a Kong, which you can stuff with a couple treats and keep him busy while you eat human food. But if you really want your fur baby to indulge in something better than his regular Kibble, you can purchase some dog turkey stew.
For those families traveling for the holiday, make sure to secure pets safely in the car, preferably in a crate. This will prevent him from getting hurt if a quick stop is made in traffic.
If for any reason there is an incident with a pet during the holiday, this website is a great resource for you to find emergency animal clinics in your local area and also provides phone numbers if you’re worried and need some advice about your pet.
So while spending quality time with family and friends this Thanksgiving, don’t forget to be conscientious about your pet – something he will be forever thankful for.