The Thanksgiving holiday is a time to celebrate your family, friends and pets. You may be tempted to share a few tasty treats with your canine companion, too. After all, who can resist a dog’s loving eyes begging for just one little gobble-full of turkey?
But hold off feeding your dog from the Thanksgiving table. Many experts warn that many of the traditional holiday recipes for people are dangerous to your dog’s health. According to the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society, feeding dogs large quantities of a new food, as well as fatty foods, such as turkey gravy, mashed potatoes with butter, and dressing, can cause pancreatitis. This potentially deadly inflammation of the pancreas produces severe symptoms of diarrhea or vomiting.
Forget giving your dog a holiday bone, too. Cooked turkey, duck, geese, and other bird bones are extremely dangerous to dogs. Cooked bones splinter and break easily, possibly causing sharp pieces to tear the intestines. A bone could pass by itself, but more often it becomes lodged in the dog’s throat, which could cause choking, or it could possibly cause an intestinal obstruction. Both situations require emergency veterinary attention and likely surgery.
Eliminate turkey skin as well. It’s hard to digest and high in fat, and the seasoning used to baste the poultry skin could give your dog an upset stomach.
Desserts are also off-limits. Chocolate can be fatal to dogs because it contains theobromine, which can increase your dog’s heart rate and cause hyperactivity, increased panting, twitching, diarrhea, and vomiting. Even sugar-free items that contain xylitol can be dangerous, causing stomach or intestinal irritation.
Beware of onions, too! These popular Thanksgiving ingredients used in stuffing, vegetable dishes, and some salads can cause life-threatening anemia when a dog ingests large amounts.
As always keep the phone number to your veterinarian and Poison Control nearby incase of an emergency.
ASPCA Poison Control: 1 (888) 426-4435