Feed your dog from your plate this Thanksgiving, and their holiday could be ruff.
While nothing may feel better to you than a food-induced coma in your favorite recliner, there are several holiday foods you should keep away from your pup.
Dr. Tina Wismer, senior director of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, advises that foods high in fat like avocado, coconut/coconut oil, nuts, citrus, milk and other forms of dairy can upset your dog’s stomach. Eggs, meat and bones that are not fully cooked can also cause salmonella and e-coli. On the extreme end, certain sweeteners can cause liver failure, and having too much salt could result in seizures.
Some human food is fine, in restricted amounts, she says. Meat, vegetables and bread “are fine” as treats, but dogs should be getting at least 90 percent of their diet from pet food.
Foods and beverages you should not feed dogs:
The sweetener, which can be found in sugarless gum and in diabetic and keto recipes, results in low blood sugar and could cause liver failure, Wismer advises.
“So, that one is a really scary one,” she says.
Garlic and onions
“One little slice of onion is not gonna be a problem, but if they get into the entire thing of stuffing, or if you make French onion soup, certainly there’s enough onions or garlic in there to cause problems with the red blood cells,” she says. “It actually causes them to rupture and anemia.”
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Grapes and raisins
Found in holiday cookies and fruit salads, Wismer says ingesting these can result in kidney failure for some pups.
“It actually causes direct damage to some of the cells in (the) kidneys,” she says.
Paws should be kept out of that bowl of appetizer nuts, warns Wismer. “(They) can actually cause hind limb weakness and paralysis,” she says, adding on a positive note, “It’s reversible and most animals recover within about 24 hours.”
Foods that are salty
Overdoing it on salt can result in vomiting and create issues with electrolytes, says Wismer. In extreme cases, pets can experience tremors and seizures.
Wismer explains though “dogs love chocolate,” they lack an off switch. Eating too much could cause heart issues and potentially seizures.
“You or I may just eat one brownie, but the dog’s gonna eat the entire pan,” she says.
Raw yeast dough
“(Yeast) changes the sugar in the dough into carbon dioxide – so gas and alcohol,” says Wismer. “The same thing that happens on your kitchen counter will continue to happen inside the dog, so we get drunk, bloated dogs.” However, once the dough is cooked, and the yeast is killed, there is no more threat to dogs.
Pet owners should be aware of beverages being left where dogs can reach them.
“Alcohol can make dogs drunk just like you or I, and it can be a big problem, if you have a small dog,” she says.
Unless you want a jittery dog with a high heart rate, make sure to keep coffee out of their reach.
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What to do if your pets get sick from people food
Wismer says if your dog is experiencing vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy or muscle tremors, you should contact your veterinarian.
If your dog is throwing up, avoid giving them anything by mouth. Take away all food and water for an hour or two to let their stomach calm down, she advises.
If pet owners suspect their dogs could be poisoned, they can call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435. She says, “We will be here 24 hours a day.”
If your dog has been very good, there are ways to treat them from the Turkey Day table.
“I am very fond of things like green beans, carrots, corn,” Wismer says. “Basically good old vegetables.”
Another way to make your Thanksgiving Day safer for your pets is to remember to keep guests’ coats and bags out of reach. You never know what potentially harmful things may be lurking in Aunt Karen’s overcoat.
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