Thanksgiving is a time filled with football, family and of course, food. With a lot of guests visiting your home, there will be lots of extra people trying to pass a tasty treat to your cat or dog. They may have the best of intentions, but "people food" isn't always the best for your four-legged friend.
We typically experience an increased number of visits in the days following Thanksgiving due to digestive problems because humans invite their animals to celebrate with high fat meals (ham, gravy, turkey skin), chocolates, bones, etc.
To help ensure that your furry friends have an enjoyable holiday, keep the following tips in mind:
1. Keep Bones Out of a Dog’s or Cat's Reach:
A pet who has a turkey bone lodged in the digestive tract may not exhibit any symptoms for several days.
Though many people think its okay to give bones from dinner to dogs, this can be very dangerous. Don’t let anyone leave bones on plates where dogs can reach them. Keep pets away from the remains of the carved turkey and the garbage, too.These bones can be very tempting to a cat or dog and it's not uncommon for a pet to raid the trashcan when no one's looking to snag a leftover bone. With Thanksgiving guests present, a pet owner may not realize that their dog has wandered off to eat a potentially deadly snack.
2. Confine Cats and Dogs When Thanksgiving Guests Arrive
Some pets are very social, while others are shy and reserved. Many cats and dogs find Thanksgiving Day guests overwhelming and frightening. Combine this fright with a guest's attempt to pet the nervous cat or dog and this is a recipe for a bite or scratch.
A frightened or adventurous pet may also wander out the door unnoticed as guests come and go.
So, to avoid injury to the pet and to guests, supervise all interactions with the household pets. Even for those that love people, it might be a good idea to close them off in a quiet part of the home with some food, water and favorite toys. Let them back out when the festivities have quieted down.
3. Share with care.
Most pets can gobble up small amounts of lean, light meat without a problem.
However, don't allow your pets to overindulge, as they could wind up with a case of stomach upset, diarrhea or even worse—an inflammatory condition of the pancreas known as pancreatitis. In fact, it’s best keep pets on their regular diets during the holidays.
In general, any newly introduced food can induce vomiting, and even diarrhea. When we switch an animal from one diet to another, we generally do it gradually over one to two weeks. So, keep new foods minimal, especially if Fido and MewMew haven't tried them before.
4. A Feast Fit for a Kong : Keep them Busy
While the humans are chowing down, give your cat and dog their own little feast. Offer them a dental chew or a pet treat. . You may also stuff their Kong with a few added tidbits of turkey, vegetables (try sweet potato or green beans) and kibble. They’ll be happily occupied for awhile, working hard to extract their special treat from the toy.
All of us at Animal Medical Clinic wish you and yours a safe and