Each year, millions of pets become ill during the holidays, with intestinal obstructions, chocolate or other toxicities, and pancreatitis, being some of the most common reasons. In order to ensure that your Thanksgiving holidays are filled with happiness rather than long waits in a veterinary emergency room, follow these simple precautions to help keep your pets safe.
Besides leading to obesity, eating fatty holiday foods can also cause a life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas gland called pancreatitis. In pets, pancreatitis is usually caused by ingestion of fatty foods like turkey, ham, gravy, and chicken skins. If left untreated, it can be fatal.
Bones also pose a serious danger to pets. Poultry bones are dangerous because they can splinter and get lodged in the gastrointestinal tract and therefore should never be given to pets. Ham and beef bones can break teeth or can also cause intestinal obstructions. If you wish to give your pet a special holiday treat, instead of giving them bones, consider giving them a healthy dental treat specially intended for safe chewing and dental hygiene.
Chocolate: Most people know that chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats. Depending on the amount consumed, it causes vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, seizures, and even death. Never give your pets chocolate and of course keep this sweet treat out of reach of your pets.
Xylitol Flavored Sweet Treats: Candies, desserts and other foods that contain the artificial sweetener xylitol are very dangerous to pets. Xylitol causes insulin release leading to low blood sugar levels and can also cause liver failure. Be sure to keep all these sweet treats out of reach of hungry pets. If your pet manages to steal some candy or dessert containing xylitol, immediately call your veterinarian for help or take your pet to a veterinary emergency clinic.
Raisins and grapes: Many Thanksgiving dishes contain raisins or grapes which can be very dangerous for pets. Grapes and raisins have been reported to cause severe kidney damage.
Nuts: Many nut varieties are toxic to pets and can have a devastating effect on dogs’ nervous systems. Walnuts and macadamias are especially toxic and can cause vomiting, paralysis and even death.
Onions: Onions, chives, and garlic in any form are poisonous to pets. They cause lethargy, weakness, ataxia (lack of coordination), hyper-salivation, anemia, and even death.
With so many tasty dangers often at pet’s eye level, it is always best to keep pets out of the kitchen and away from the celebration. And while sharing is in keeping with the holiday spirit of goodwill, sharing leftovers with our pets can lead to serious health problems. Instead of giving your pet leftovers from your holiday meal, give your pet a pet-safe treat or a new toy.
You can even give them a Turkey Cranberry flavored treat in the spirit of the holidays. My dog loves these Vita Bone Artisan Inspired Turkey Stuffing & Cranberry Flavored Treats.
Although the holidays are usually joyous times, as anyone who has ever hosted a holiday party knows, they can also be stressful times. This can be especially true for our pets. The revolving door of visiting guests and the break from the routine can frighten our pets and cause them to run away. If your pet tends to easily get scared, nervous, or becomes protective, it is important to keep them confined safely inside your house. Many pets are lost during the holidays when they jump out of their yard or dart out of an open door. Remember all pets, even strictly indoor cats, should have collars with tags and microchips so that if they become lost they can be returned safely home.
Keep these important tips in mind during the holidays in order to keep your pets safe.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
This Week’s Pet of the Week is Willow from Tennessee. Willow’s story is just one of example of why I love pet adoption and why people should always consider adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue. There are so many wonderful dogs and cats waiting for homes. You might just find your pet soul mate like Vicky B from Tennessee.
Willow was adopted by Vicky from Save The Pets Arizona in Tucson, AZ. Vicky saw a photo of the most precious pup on a friend’s Facebook page, who was fostering Willow at the time. Right away, her heart “knew she was meant for me.” At the time, Save the Pets Arizona had a no out-of-state adoption policy and she was afraid that she would not be able to adopt her.
Nevertheless, she felt that Willow was meant to be her fur baby and she contacted the rescue anyway. Her friend, who was fostering Willow and had fostered many dogs for this organization, vouched for her character. After some deliberation, Save the Pets Arizona allowed their very first out-of-state adoption and that’s how Vicky got her very first fur baby.
Vicky writes that “never before in my life had I ever had a dog, and the moment she was mine, a place in my heart blossomed and an unimaginable love exploded in my soul. Willow has been my fur baby for 6 years; I brought her home after 10 hours in the car in June of 2012. Because of her, as long as I live on this earth, I will always have a fur baby. ”
This handsome pooch is looking for a loving home! Thor is a male Boxer mix, who is about 4-5 years old and available for adoption from Abby’s Animal Rescue. Unfortunately, Thor came to the rescue with Heartworm disease. Fortunately Abby’s Animal Rescue took him to their veterinarian and he is currently being treated for Heartworms and should be back to normal soon. He is mellow, super sweet, loves people and enjoys hanging out! If you are looking for a great dog please consider Thor and contact Abby’s Animal Rescue for more information.
Nayla is an adorable, seven-year-old Frenchie who can’t wait to find her perfect forever home and since everyone who meets her falls head over heals in love with her, it shouldn’t be difficult!
This girl absolutely adores people, especially ‘her’ people. She loves nothing more than hanging out on the couch with her foster family with some breaks for fetch either inside or out. Her favorite toys to chase are squeaky tennis balls but any squeaky toy will do in a pinch!
Nayla is super smart, both housetrained and crate trained and an overall well-behaved dog. She’d be a great co-worker – she would impress the entire office with her perfect manners! Any type of home environment would work for Nayla; a fenced-in yard would be ideal but any calm, quiet spot for her to roam or take walks would also work. A home with older children would be ok, as well.
So why does she need a calm, quiet spot for her walks? Well, Nayla just isn’t a fan of other dogs. She has fear-based aggression and must be adopted to a dog-free home with limited daily interactions with other dogs in her neighborhood.
Nayla unfortunately contracted Lyme disease prior to arriving in her foster home and has had some irreversible kidney damage due to the disease. She also suffered from polyarthropathy (arthritis that affects five joints or more) but is currently in remission. Nayla currently takes medication and supplements to support her kidney function and keep the polyarthropathy in remission; it’s expected that with proper maintenance and a special diet, she will remain a happy, healthy girl! Don’t worry, the medications are not expensive, and her daily care isn’t difficult. Her daily routine doesn’t vary much from any other dog.
Nayla just wants a permanent family to call her own, one that is willing to snuggle on the couch and play fetch with her and her beloved squeaky toys. Nayla is being fostered in Buffalo, NY and is available for adoption through SNORT Rescue. (one of my favorite rescues)!
If you are interested in Nayla please contact SNORT Rescue to find out more about how you can meet this adorable girl.