Keeping your pets safe on Thanksgiving - WNEM TV 5

Keeping your pets safe on Thanksgiving

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As family and friends chow down on the Thanksgiving feast, it may be tempting to slip a meaty treat to your furry friend under the table.

However, experts are warning pet owners to keep the food away from pets as holiday sweets can contain ingredients that are poisonous to animals.  

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, fatty foods are hard for animals to digest and poultry bones can damage you pet’s digestive tract.

Here are some tips to keep your pet healthy and safe during the holiday. 

  • Keep the turkey on the table The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said if you decide to feed your pet a small bite of turkey, make sure it’s boneless and well-cooked. Keep in mind, though, that eating even or a small amount of turkey or turkey skin can cause a life-threatening condition in pets known as pancreatitis, according to the AVMA.
  • Skip dessert - It’s common knowledge that chocolate can be harmful for pets, but an artificial sweetener called xylitol can also pose a risk. According to the AVMA, xylitol is often used in sugar-free baked goods and can be deadly if eaten by dogs and cats. 
  • Hold the dough - No one enjoys bloat from overindulging, and that includes your pets. According to the ASPCA, when a dog or cat easts raw bread dough, the yeast continues to convert the sugars in the dough to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol. The result is painful gas and potentially life-threatening bloating. 
  • Hide the trash - A leftover turkey carcass is nearly impossible to resist for a gifted sniffer. The AVMA suggests disposing of bones, bags and packaging in a tightly secured garbage bag in a closed trash container outdoors. 

While a few small boneless pieces of cooked turkey, a taste of mashed potato, or even a lick of pumpkin pie shouldn’t pose a problem. However, don't allow your pets to overindulge. Instead, the ASPCA said prepare your special furry friend a feast of their own. 

Offer them made-for-pets chew bones or stuff their usual dinner inside a food puzzle toy.

If you think your pet has been poisoned or eaten something it shouldn’t have, call your veterinarian or local veterinary emergency clinic immediately. Signs of pet distress include: sudden changes in behavior, depression, pain, vomiting, or diarrhea.

You can also call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline at 888-426-4435.

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