We all look forward to spending Thanksgiving dinner with our families — which often includes our dogs.
After all, they are part of the family and love to be the center of attention.
Dogs also like being handed treats by family members and guests.
However, this can be dangerous — even fatal — to your dog.
Here’s how to keep your dog safe this Thanksgiving…
Can Dogs Have Turkey?
When placing the meat in your dog’s bowl, be sure to remove all pieces of bone.
Dogs and turkey bones aren’t a good combination.
A veterinarian weighs in: Can Dogs Eat Turkey Bones?
Avoiding Canine Pancreatitis
Use caution when feeding your dog turkey skin.
It’s great for a treat. But too much can cause a case of canine pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).
Other symptoms include: stomach pain, refusal to eat, crying or whimpering, weakness and irritability.
Before you let your dog dine on your Thanksgiving turkey feast, read these tips:
Other Thanksgiving Dangers For Dogs
If your dog has a dog run, kennel, or crate, your best bet is to keep him safely inside it until all of the food has been put away and the scraps and bones disposed of.
Other Thanksgiving dangers for dogs include turkey pop-ups, string, skewers, cellophane wrap, tin foil and plastic bags.
Once the meal is over, place the turkey bones in the garbage and remove the garbage bag from the room. (It should immediately be placed in a garbage bin — where it can’t be accessed by pets or wildlife.)
As a reminder, dogs and alcohol don’t mix either.
Warning Signs That Something’s Wrong
If your dog eats a lot of turkey (or other foods dangerous to dogs), it can take up to a week before symptoms are evident.
Most symptoms of food-related illnesses in dogs include:
- loss of appetite
Canine bloat can be fatal if not treated immediately.
Bloat is caused by excess fluid and/or gas in the intestines and stomach — which can cause the stomach to dilate and rotate. Rotation of your dog’s stomach is known as gastric dilation or torsion. This is common in larger dogs that have a deep chest. It is a life-threatening condition.
Symptoms of bloat in dogs include:
- excessive salivating
- stomach distention
- rapid pulse
Here’s how to tell if your dog is at risk for bloat.
In Case Of Emergency…
If you think someone gave your dog too much turkey or table food, contact your vet immediately. The same is true if your dog got into the trash and ate something he shouldn’t have.
Since most vet offices are closed on weekends and holidays (including Thanksgiving), you should have an emergency vet contact number on hand. Most likely, this will be the Pet Emergency Center closest to your home.
Be sure to caution your Thanksgiving guests about giving turkey and other table food to your dog. Insist that there be no sharing… and stick to your guns!
It’s up to you to keep your dog safe this Thanksgiving.
Instead of giving your dog table scraps, make some Thanksgiving dog treats as a way to include your dog in the family meal.
Here are my favorite Thanksgiving recipes for dogs.
This video by veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker highlights the dangers of feeding your dog table scraps: