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Thanksgiving With Your Pets

We will discuss the things you and your pets can and can not eat together this Thanksgiving holiday! We hope you have a joyous holiday with family, friends and of course your pets! Let us know if you have any questions!

Thanksgiving is here and with it comes all the goodies like: turkey, stuffing and all sorts of desserts and side dishes. But while it's OK for hoomans to indulge in those items, the same may not be true for your furry friend.

Here's a break down of what you can give Froto, and what you should keep away from your four-legged friend.

6 Foods your pets can have this Thanksgiving!

1. Turkey--- Unless, your dog or cat does not have a predetermined allergy to poultry then turkey is the way to go! We still only want to give them small portions with no fatty additives! The breast is prime meat for your babies! Avoid fatty snacks such as trimmings, turkey skin, gravy etc., we want to avoid these because it can cause issues with their pancreas. This can over-stimulate and inflame the pancreas, resulting in life-threatening pancreatitis. Keep in mind that certain breeds such as Miniature Schnauzers, Yorkshire Terriers, and Shetland Sheepdogsare especially predisposed to pancreatitis, so meat snacks are a big no-no in these three breeds. Also a big no-no for any breed—bones. Bones are sharp and can result in an esophageal foreign bodygastrointestinal upset, or rarely, a foreign body obstruction! More importantly, keep that darn piece of yarn/string that is wrapped around the turkey out of reach – this is often accidentally ingested by dogs and cats directly from the garbage, and can result in a life-threatening linear foreign body obstructionwhen ingested.

2. Vegetables---Most vegetables are a great snack for dogs, including broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, green beans and sweet potato. As long as the vegetables aren’t covered in anything too fatty (e.g., gravy, butter, etc.), they provide a low-calorie, high-fiber snack for dogs and make them feel more full. If you’re feeding sweet potato (especially if it’s cooked with marshmallows), make sure there’s no sugar-substitute on it (containing xylitol).

3. Bread---A small piece of bread is a safe snack for dogs, as long as it’s baked appropriately. This provides a relatively low-calorie filler for your dog. More importantly, keep unbaked bread dough out of reach – if accidentally ingested by dogs, the yeast and sugar can result in carbon dioxide  and ethanol formation in your dog’s stomach; this can result in secondary hypoglycemia (e.g., low blood sugar), bloat and even alcohol poisoning!

4. Salmon---Serving smoked salmon as an appetizer? A small amount can be safely given to your cat or dog as a nice, healthy treat. In most forms, salmon -- skin included -- is safe for dogs to eat as long as it is properly cooked. If you've grilled salmon and want to share some leftover fish or fish skin with Froto, feel free. Avoid feeding salmon that has been cooked with substances toxic to dogs, such as garlic and onions.

5. Cheese---Serving a cheese plate? A small amount of cheese is fine. While dogs and cats are often intolerant of lactose, there is a minimal amount in cheese (versus milk), so go for it.

6. Thanksgiving Stuffing/ Dressing---Alright, I’ll admit it – even I give a small amount of turkey stuffing to my pets as a snack. The breadcrumbs and savory meat flavor is a huge hit, and while it does contain some fat, it’s generally safe in small amounts. Just make sure that there aren’t any raisins or currants in it, which can result in acute kidney injury when ingested. [Editor's Note: Also be sure to avoid giving your pet stuffing with onions or garlic.]

This Thanksgiving, show thanks for your friendship by giving a small treat to your four-legged friend. Keep in mind, all in moderation – if you overdo any of these snacks, it can result in gastroenteritis (such as vomiting or diarrhea)! 

What your pups CANNOT have to eat this Thanksgiving!

1. Gravy--- A Thanksgiving dinner staple, gravy is best left off of Froto’s dinner plate. Rich gravy, high in fat and loaded with salt, spices, and other dangerous ingredients can cause upset stomach, gastrointestinal distress, and pancreatitis.

2. Turkey Skin---While turkey is generally an excellent protein source for pets, it’s best to only share unseasoned white meat with your furriest family member and keep him away from the turkey skin. Skin is not only high in fat, but contains marinades, butter, spices, and oils that are difficult to digest.

3. Cooked Bones---Although raw bones are an excellent treat for any pampered pooch, cooked turkey (and other poultry) bones can be deadly if eaten. When cooked, bones become brittle and can splinter in the digestive tract. Avoid feeding cooked turkey bones and dispose of your turkey carcass carefully so as not to tempt your curious canine.

4. Sage---Many holiday dishes are cooked using this popular herb, but sage can be potentially deadly to unlucky dogs that ingest it. Sage contains essential oils that can lead to upset stomach or, worse, liver and kidney issues.

5. Nuts---An Autumn staple, nuts are frequently found in holiday dishes and in bowls around the home this time of year. While most nuts are fine when given in moderation, some, especially walnut and macadamia nuts, are highly toxic for our four-legged family. Ingestion can lead to vomiting, lethargy, seizures, and elevated heart rate.

6. Cranberry Sauce---Cranberries are a great source of antioxidants and make excellent treats for dogs and cats, but if you indulge your furriest family with cranberry sauce from the Thanksgiving dinner table, make sure it's free of raisins, grapes, or currants, and use sparingly as most cranberry sauces contain lots of added sugars.

7. Onions and Garlic---Onions and garlic both contain sulfides which are toxic to dogs and can damage red blood cells and lead to anemia. Although small amounts of garlic can safely be given to dogs, onions (including members of the onion family, like chives and shallots) should be avoided in all forms, including raw, cooked, or powdered.

8. Nutmeg---Although pumpkin and sweet potatoes are excellent sources of fiber and nutritious treats for dogs, many holiday pumpkin and sweet potato dishes are seasoned with nutmeg, a highly toxic ingredient that can cause seizures and central nervous system problems if ingested by your pet. Before sharing any pumpkin or sweet potato dishes with your dog, make sure they contain absolutely NO nutmeg. Cooked pumpkin and sweet potato with no other additives like sugars, nutmeg, butter etc., are all excellent treats for your pets!

9. Alcohol---While many dogs enjoy the taste of beer or wine, there's absolutely no reason to indulge your dog with a sip of your alcoholic beverage this Thanksgiving. Alcohol, and especially the hops in beer, is highly toxic and can lead to death in both dogs and cats. You can now purchase alcohol for pets! Dogs:

10. Corn Cobs---If your holiday meal includes fresh corn on the cob, feel free to share a few kernels of corn with your best buddy. Be careful not to allow him to chew the cob, though! Corn cobs cannot be digested and, if swallowed, can quickly become an intestinal blockage.

11. Chocolate---The toxic component of chocolate is theobromine. Humans easily metabolize theobromine, but pets process it much more slowly, allowing it to build up to toxic levels in their system. ... A small amount of chocolate will probably only give your dog an upset stomach with vomiting or diarrhea.

12. Batter and Dough---Many don't realize that dough can actually rise inside your dog's stomach leading to bloating, severe pain, and possible intestinal blockage. Additionally, doughs and batters often contain raw eggs which can expose your pet to Salmonella. Dogs and cats that become ill from Salmonella infection generally will have diarrhea that may contain blood or mucus. Affected animals may seem more tired than usual, and may have a fever or vomit. Easiest thing is just to not chance it!

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