Holiday Turkey is Not Meant for Dogs

Roasted turkey and honey glazed ham: Mmmm, good! Of course we can’t forget all of the trimmings that go along with these wonderful holiday meals. It makes my mouth water and stomach rumble with anticipation of indulging in these gastronomic delicacies. With or without your help, your dog will also likely want to indulge in these meals. I mean, can you blame them? As tempting as it is, however, it’s not a good idea.

During this holiday season many pets get sick as a result of too many “extras” in the form of table food and treats. The “sickness” can range from minor soft stools to major vomiting, diarrhea and pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). OK, so you say that you are a good pet owner and won’t feed from the table but your lab, “Buffet,” decides to take matters into his own paws or mouth and gobbles (no pun) down the turkey. Now what? Depending upon how much was eaten, and if he truly did “eat the bones” (unlike a new TV commercial for boneless wings), will determine how concerned you should be. If small amounts were consumed by a large dog, worry should be minimal in most cases.

However, if large amounts of food, as well as bones, are consumed, you will likely want to contact your veterinarian — especially if your pet is vomiting. It is likely that blood tests, radiographs, IV fluids and hospitalization will be recommended along with additional medications.

Dogs can get really sick if they eat too much food — or even sometimes a small amount of food —outside of their normal diet. Fortunately, with treatment, most pets return home after therapy and may be placed on a special short- or long-term diet. With more severe pancreatitis, secondary diabetes may result, which is not good.

For those of you that like to “share” and can’t turn away those big loving eyes, be cautious about what you feed your beloved friend. Rather than food from the table, or even the leftover gravy on their regular food (bad idea), how about other treats such as leftover green beans, carrots (preferably raw or steamed) or an extra pet treat such as SENTRY Pur Luv Chewy Bites.

Holiday season is about family (including our pets), getting together, indulging in great meals, and simply sharing with each other all the things for which we are grateful. Pet-proof your garbage, don’t allow table food and enjoy this holiday season at home — not at the veterinary emergency hospital with a sick pet. It can be hard to say no, but it is (contradictory to your pet’s ideas) so much healthier for your beloved furry family member. Wow, now I am hungry!

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