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Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful with family and friends. A time to gather around the table and reflect on memories made. Our pets are part of the family too and we are happy to include them in the celebrations. Whether you are going out of town, or having guest over, your 4-legged family member may be getting a few extra treats at dinner time. Unfortunately for them, human food can be dangerous. Check out the list below to find out which Thanksgiving treats are safe for pets and which ones may leave you cleaning up an unwanted mess.

Shareable foods. There are plenty of things your pet can enjoy with you during dinner. The key is to avoid fats, seasonings, and large portions. Before adding seasonings or butter, set aside a small treat for later. The best thing is to plan ahead, feed your pets before guest start arriving. A full pet is less likely to beg and look for scraps. These are some examples of foods that are shareable for your pets:
 

  • Plain sweet potatoes
  • Plain turkey - white meat only, no skin or bones
  • Plain mashed potatoes
  • Steamed green beans
  • Butternut squash

Avoid the fat. Fatty foods like poultry skin or gravy can cause severe gastrointestinal issues in pets, including vomiting, diarrhea, and in some cases - Pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, an organ that produces digestive enzymes. It can cause vomiting and a decrease in appetite, but can potentially be fatal.

Bones are hazardous. Be sure bones are disposed properly, and out of reach. Bird bones are hollow and break easily. Sharp pieces may get caught in a pet's esophagus or intestinal tract becoming potentially life threatening.

Toxic foods for pets. The following are common food toxic to dog and cats.

  • Macadamia nuts - can cause neurological signs
  • Grapes and raisins - can cause renal disease
  • Onions and garlic - can cause anemia
  • Nutmeg - can cause neurological signs
  • Sage - can cause severe stomachaches
  • Sugar free products containing Xylitol - can cause life threatening hypoglycemia, even in small amounts.

Alcohol is for the adults, HUMAN adults. Surprising enough people find it funny to watch pets drink alcohol. Symptoms can range from vomiting to brain damage or even death.

When traveling, don't forget to pack your pet's diet and any medications they may need as well. Introducing a new food may cause vomiting or diarrhea when not gradually switched. For pets with health concerns, you should always consult with your veterinarian prior to diet changes.

River Mill Animal Hospital wishes everyone 2-legged and 4 a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday this year.

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