Sharing the Feast
Every Thanksgiving season, many pet parents beg my permission to share the Thanksgiving goodies with their four legged family members. “But a little bit of turkey is okay, right?” they ask.
“I mean there’s turkey and chicken in his food. And you even said sweet potato is good for them!”
While foods such as turkey and sweet potatoes are not “bad” for pets in and of themselves, bear in mind that any diet change can be upsetting to a dog or cat’s sensitive digestive tract. Our foods are often basted, seasoned, garnished, and marinated in foods that are completely foreign to our pets. Sweet potato is good for your pet. But the butter, brown sugar and marshmallows that make up Bubbe’s “special recipe” are not. Butter and cooking oils are high in fats - and even “good fats” can cause gastrointestinal upset. Worse yet, fatty foods can lead to pancreatitis, a condition that can cost well over $1000 to treat, and can cost your pet his life if left untreated. Many recipes also include onions. Onions are the cause of Heinz body anemia, a blood disorder that is often fatal and again, costs thousands of dollars to treat.
While “people food” may be off-limits, bear in mind that this is a very hectic time of the year - and pets know it! Many will help themselves to whatever they can find in garbage cans, recycling bins and things that have been dropped on the floor. Strings, tin foil, roasting bags, and grease-soaked paper towels are just a few of the Black Friday emergencies I have treated throughout my career. Never set garbage bags on the floor. They are fair game to a hungry hound. A client learned this the hard way when her dachshund tore through the bag and ate the entire turkey carcass. I surgically removed it the next day.
My front desk is often asked why they have to work the day after Thanksgiving. The answer usually starts with “Well, there was this dachshund one year that tore open the trash bag….”
For those of you who may be wondering, no it was not one of my dachshunds! At least not that time...