West Michigan born and raised since 1989!
West Michigan born and raised since 1989!
West Michigan born and raised since 1989!
West Michigan born and raised since 1989!

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Thanksgiving Pet Safety

Thanksgiving Pet Safety

Keep Your Pet Safe This Thanksgiving

For most, Thanksgiving means family gatherings with an abundance of delicious food for everyone. And even though we want to include our dogs in the celebrations, some of our holiday food is not safe for them. Even when we aren’t trying to include them — the smells coming from the kitchen are so delicious that some dogs will go in search of the good stuff. You might have thought it was out of reach on the counter or even on top of the refrigerator but some dogs are veritable rock (or kitchen stool) climbers!turkey-532962_1280For a special  holiday treat, check at your local independent pet store for turkey based foods — there are some great canned foods with a Thanksgiving theme. There’s also delicious baked treats with gingerbread, pumpkin, or turkey flavors. Look for decorative pet safe frosted cookies for your dog in bakery case.Pet Poison Hotline offers the following tips for preventing holiday mishaps. Prevention is the best option to keeping your pets healthy – not to mention, the best way for you to have a restful and happy turkey day. To help keep your pets safe, here is a list of the dangers that result in the most calls to Pet Poison Hotline:

  1. Fatty foods such as butter, bacon, fatty meat drippings, gravies, and meat scraps may seem harmless but can pose very real threats of pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that can result in clinical signs of vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain. Some breeds are very prone to developing pancreatitis but any dog that ingest=56 a large enough quantity of these foods are at risk. Symptoms may not be immediate and can occur up to four days after exposure.
  2. Discarded food items such as corn cobs, discarded turkey trussings, and bones can result in an obstructive risk or gastrointestinal injury that have the potential to require surgical removal or repair.
  3. Brine. Who would have thought that the popular trend of brining your turkey prior to Thanksgiving would be a risk to your pets? When you remove the turkey, this salt-saturated solution can be very attractive to dogs and cats, who will readily lap it up resulting in salt toxicosis. Clinical signs are excessive thirst and urination, vomiting, and diarrhea. This can potentially result in serious electrolyte changes and brain swelling.
  4. Xylitol. Candies, desserts, or other foods that are sweetened with an artificial sweetener called xylitol are dangerous to pets. Xylitol can result in a rapid drop in blood sugar in dogs along with liver damage. In the past, we saw xylitol limited to the ingredient lists of sugar-free gums, mints, and dental products but xylitol is now very commonly used in sugar-free or low-sugar baked goods, vitamins, and peanut butter. Even quantities that appear to be very small have the potential to quickly become life-threatening to dogs. Always check the label.
  5. Raisins, currents, and grapes found in some of our favorite Thanksgiving foods are a very serious concern for dogs as they have the risk of resulting in acute renal failure with even small ingestions.
  6. Chocolates in our desserts or treats are dangerous to our pets. Remember that the darker the chocolate, the more serious the ingestion, means the less they will need to ingest to develop clinical signs of vomiting, diarrhea, agitation, tremors, increased heart rate along with potential seizures.
  7. Nuts are high in fat and also have the risk of pancreatitis. Macadamia nuts are more serious and can ingestions can result in vomiting, diarrhea, inability to rise or walk normally (they take on a drunken appearance and can even drag their rear limbs as if injured), along with hyperthermia.
  8. Holiday decorations are a concern for many reasons. Bittersweet flowers are many times included in fall floral arrangements and can cause gastrointestinal upset. Candles can result in burns and flameless candles contain batteries, that when ingested can result in gastrointestinal burns and corrosive injury.

If you think that your pet has ingested something poisonous or harmful, it is always easier, less expensive, and safer for your pet to be treated earlier, rather than waiting for severe clinical signs to occur. Pet Poison Helpline is available 24/7 during the Thanksgiving Holiday to provide support to you, your pet, and your veterinarian.

Pet Poison Helpline is the most cost-effective animal poison control center in North America. It that provides treatment advice and recommendations relating to exposures to potential dangerous plants, products, medications, and substances, to veterinarians, veterinary staff, and pet owners 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through a helpline number 800-213-6680 and an iPhone application. Please be aware there is a $49.00/per case consultation fee. For further information regarding services, visit www.petpoisonhelpline.com.