Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tips for a Dog Friendly Thanksgiving

A celebration of family, friends, and food, Thanksgiving is among the favorite holidays of many Americans. The delicious feast is anticipated well in advance of the actual day. But while preparing for the celebration, it’s important to keep mindful of our four-legged family members and remember what we can do to keep them safe.

Our dogs are part of the family and it is tempting to make a plate for them when doling out heaping helpings of all our favorite Thanksgiving dishes. However, overdoing it on high-fat holiday foods—turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and other favorites—can upset a dog’s stomach and result in gas, diarrhea, or life-threatening pancreatitis.

It is fine if you want to give a small taste of some of the holiday dishes, including the turkey—but make sure the meat is fully cooked, boneless, and skinless.

Following are some additional tips to keep in mind:
  • Before the guests arrive, exercise your dogs so they are tired and on their best behavior during the meal.
  • Make sure guests in your home know the house rules regarding your dogs. Make sure that children know the dangers of roughhousing with the dog and that everyone knows not to feed from the table. Placing your dog’s crate in a quiet room will allow for a quiet break from the action.
  • Have stuffed Kongs prepared in case the dog is begging for food and needs to be distracted. Very small portions of Thanksgiving food stuffed into the Kong could make for a nice treat.
  • Keep the turkey carcass and plates with bones out of reach, as cooked turkey bones are sharp, can cause extensive damage to internal organs, and can go undetected for several days.
  • Keep toxic foods such as sage and onions, as well as uncooked cake batter (to avoid food poisoning from raw eggs), out of reach.
  • Do not give uncooked bread or roll dough to your dogs. Heat makes dough rise, and in the dog’s stomach, the dough can expand and cause stomach pain, vomiting, and bloat.
We wish our PBRC supporters and their families a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Sources: Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Dog Owners (http://www.dogster.com/dog-food/thanksgiving-safety-tips-for-dog-owners)
Thanksgiving Safety Tips (http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/pet-care-tips/thanksgiving-safety-tips.aspx).

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