Thanksgiving with Pets!

September 12th, 2017 by The Clarkson Team

This holiday, a good way to show appreciation for your pet is to give them extra attention and pet-friendly treats. If you share your dinner with them, you might find yourself being thankful for 24-hour vet clinics!

You already know many foods that are obviously unhealthy for pets, such as any dessert, but even foods that are o.k. for your furry friend may be jazzed up all the way to pancreatitis – think super buttery mashed potatoes. To better understand why we are asking you to not give in to puppy eyes and kitty cries, or if you just need to educate your overzealous relatives, here are some common Thanksgiving foods your pet needs to avoid, and why.

Toxic Foods

The amount of toxin ingested, your pets’ weight, and individual sensitivity levels are all taken into account when determining how lethal food can be, but any level of toxicity is detrimental to your pets’ health. Some toxic foods that are commonly found at a Thanksgiving meal are grapes & raisins, garlic, onions, nutmeg and other spices, and caffeine. Some of these items may only be used in one dish, while others, like caffeine, can hide in chocolate, tea, and even cold medicine. Be very discerning about what you feed your pet, and consider making or purchasing pet-appropriate treats if you want your pet to participate in the special meal.

Gastro-intestinal upset

Many Thanksgiving treats can cause obstructions, diarrhea, and other problems. Giving your pet milk products may lead to G. I. upset, while other foods can cause multiple problems. Giving them corn on the cob may cause G. I. problems and can be a choking hazard. Plum pits can cause a blockage and contain cyanide, which is toxic. And nuts may cause gastrointestinal discomfort and some, like walnuts and pecans, are also toxic. So, giving your pet some pecan pie may end up being a costly treat for everyone.

Another problem that is commonly overlooked is yeast. Yeast in bread or other dishes can cause bloating, which can lead to gastric volvulus, and the yeast in the stomach starts to ferment and release alcohol into the bloodstream, which compounds the problems. Like waking a sleeping cat, food that may seem harmless can still pack quite a punch.

Fats and sugars

Fatty foods that are not formulated for pets can precipitate or aggravate many health problems. Avoid giving your cat or dog any desserts, even ones that have ingredients that are not bad for your pet. For example, pumpkin can be given, but pumpkin pie will have enough added ingredients to make it very unhealthy for your pet. Also, turkey is a good protein source, but any spices that may have been added can cause problems, as well as the fatty skin.

So, the message is clear: to avoid any unforeseen problems, it is best to only share your meal with your guests, and to keep an eye on your pets so that they won’t steal or be fed any Thanksgiving dishes. We love our customers and their pets, but let’s leave hospital holiday trips for the movies!

If you believe your pet has ingested something they shouldn’t don’t hesitate to call our hospital at 905-855-2100, we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even on Thanksgiving!

Read our recent posts:

Did You Know Your Pets Are Actually Making You Healthier?
Is Your Dog Stressed Out? [Video]
Top 10 Tips for Travelling Long Distances in the Car with Your Dog


Written by Sara, ACA

About The Clarkson Team

Our caring, dedicated veterinary team has helped dogs, cats, and their families for over 27 years at the Clarkson Village Animal Hospital in Mississauga. We know how important your furry family members are – we’re pet lovers too!

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