The holiday season is upon us. Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to come together and give thanks for what we have. Today pets are a significant part of our families and are included in the celebration. If you are like us, the Thanksgiving feast is one that you look forward to all year long. While we may be able to throw caution to the wind once a year, we must be careful about what our pets receive on that day. Both dogs and cats are not used to some of the indulgences of the day and can have serious problems.
Here are 10 things to consider to keep your pet healthy and happy on Thanksgiving.
- Many of the traditional foods contain large amounts of fat which should be avoided. Gravy, turkey skin, the drippings from the turkey pan and other foods should be avoided. Excess fat can create problems with the pancreas and further aggravate an already overweight animal.
- Pancreatitis is a very painful condition most commonly brought on by an excessively large meal or a meal with increased amounts of fat (there are other causes, but during the holiday season this is the most common cause). It stimulates the pancreas to produce large amounts of the enzymes needed to digest the nutrients. If there are increased amounts in the pancreas, sometimes these enzymes can’t get out of the pancreas fast enough and begin to actually break down the wall of the ducts and leak into the abdomen. This can cause vomiting diarrhea, restlessness, weakness, discomfort and can even be life threatening.
- Bones should be avoided at all cost, especially the bones of birds as they are hollow and can break into very sharp pieces which will wreak havoc with the digestive tract.
- Chocolate, especially dark chocolate should be avoided as there is a toxin, theobromine in all chocolate.
- When it comes to our beloved family pets, the key word is moderation. Be careful that everyone is not slipping the pets a few tidbits from the table. Set the rules early on for who feeds the pets and when.
- Watch out for dropped food, especially by our younger family members.
- Make sure all garbage is secure and not left to tempt a pet when we aren’t looking. Cats and even some dogs can easily get on counter tops when we are enjoying our meal in another room.
- Pets are also attracted to aluminum foil, wax paper and plastic wrap that has been used to cover foods. These items can cause digestive issues and even obstruction.
- Some pets become nervous with all the excitement and may need a quiet refuge away from all the noise and excitement.
- If you have a large family and there will be lots of doors to the outside opened and closed, be careful that there are no escapes into the wild that could ruin the day.
Thanksgiving is a great day full of great food and companionship. Make it the same for the pets in your family by planning ahead. For a Thanksgiving turkey meal your pet will love, try Wellness 95% Turkey Recipe or Wellness Turkey Stew for dogs and Wellness Sliced Turkey Entrée for Cats.