Veterinarian offers Thanksgiving food reminders for pet owners

Published: Nov. 21, 2023 at 5:58 AM EST
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SALEM, Va. (WDBJ) - Thanksgiving is this week, and while you and your family and friends are enjoying a delicious meal, it’s not the time to give your pets the same foods.

“Never underestimate the persistence of these dogs to find the goodies,” said Richard Bryant, DVM, Medical Director and co-owner of Salem Animal Hospital.

Dr. Bryant said he sees many cases of dogs and cats getting sick from eating something they weren’t supposed to, especially around the holidays.

“You may have some vomiting may have diarrhea that may respond just to basic treatments or you may end up with pancreatitis, which can be life threatening, or hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, which if left unattended, can become life threatening all the way to corn cobs, bones, etc, cheesecloth, they can all act as foreign body obstructions that may require surgical removal,” said Dr. Bryant.

The list of just some of the foods to avoid includes: onions, garlic, raisins, grapes, pork, yeast dough, currants, xylitol, cream of tartar, bones, heavy fats (example: butter and turkey skin), alcohol, nutmeg, chocolate.

If you think your dog or cat has eaten something they shouldn’t have, he says you shouldn’t wait to call your pet’s doctor.

“You know, it’s one thing if your dog has a little gas or loose stool, but when they start having repeated vomiting episodes, I would recommend getting them checked out because it may be something simple, right? And maybe they just need a bland diet and a little bit of medication to help them through. Or maybe it’s the beginning of a bowel obstruction, you know, that’s gonna require surgery and the longer you wait on those, the harder it is to fix them,” said Dr. Bryant.

He suggested talking to your guests about not feeding your pets.

“Remove them from the temptation, you can’t remove the temptation from your house because everybody’s enjoying it. Right and that’s the point of it. But you can, you can definitely confine the dogs if you need to do to a crate room, etc. Where they just can’t get into it then you can make sure at the end of it. Everything is pulled up. Everything’s away your guests now and then you can release them, you know and let them let them have some fun too….Be safe. Be proactive with their pets. Have a good holiday but you can’t be too cautious,” said Dr. Bryant.