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Thanksgiving Dangers for Pets

Dog licking plate - Sean MacEntee [Flickr].jpg
Sean MacEntee [Flickr]
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This is plate-licking good!

Lots of folks are getting ready for a big Thanksgiving feast with family and friends this coming week.  And for many of us, family includes our pets.  My mother would actually prepare a plate for our dog.  The problem is that most things on that plate weren’t all that healthy for us, and some were downright dangerous for a pet.  So what can you share with your pet during the Thanksgiving festivities?

     Most pets tolerate plain vegetables like carrots, celery, corn (without the cob), green beans and sweet potatoes – but no casseroles.  You can give your furry buddy turkey (without bones or skin), even plain rice, and apples with the core and seeds removed.

     The list of Thanksgiving food you should NOT give your pet is longer.  To begin with, no onions, garlic, leeks, scallions, grapes or raisins – no dressing or stuffing.  Even mashed potatoes can pose a risk, depending on how the potatoes were cooked (baked is okay, but not boiled, and no seasonings, butter or milk).  Never feed your pet raw potatoes, with or without the skin.  And – no raw dough.

     Most pet owners know that chocolate in any form should not be given to your furry buddy.  Desserts may cause problems for dogs and cats as the high fat and sugar content of cakes and pies could lead to pancreatitis.  Be extra careful not to give your pet any baked goods made with Xylitol, an artificial sweetener which is highly toxic to animals and can cause hypoglycemia and even liver failure.

     And remember the garbage can may contain hazardous items such as bones, fat trimmings, can lids, plastic wrappers, tin foil.  Make sure the garbage can has a secure lid, so your pet cannot access it.

     While Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends and feasts, remember that many of the tasty holiday treats we enjoy could cause your pet gastric distress or even threaten its life.  Knowing your best friend is safe, is something to truly be thankful for, when you’re speaking of pets.

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Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.