Turkey Day tips for pets

‘Tis the season for the gatherings of family, friends and of course, lots of turkey.

But, before we dig in to our Thanksgiving feasts, pet owners need to consider their furry friends.

Kate Sembor, Development Director at the Providence Animal Rescue League, joined The Rhode Show to share some Thanksgiving Day safety tips.

Some of Kate’s tips:

Turkey: Turkey can be a wonderful lean protein to share with your pet. You will just want to be sure to remove any excess skin or fat, stick with white meat, and make sure there are no bones. Bird bones are hollow, can break easily and can get lodged in your pet’s intestine.

Foods to keep out of reach: Onions and onion powder, widely found in stuffing and used as a general seasoning, will destroy your dog or cat’s red blood cells, which can lead to anemia.

Sage can make your Thanksgiving stuffing taste delish, but it can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression to cats and dogs if eaten in large quantities.

Don’t spoil your pet’s holiday by giving him raw bread dough. According to ASPCA experts, when raw bread dough is ingested, an animal’s body heat causes the dough to rise in his stomach. As it expands, the pet may experience vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating, which could become a life-threatening emergency, requiring surgery.

Desserts to steer clear of: If you’re baking up Thanksgiving cakes, be sure your pets keep their noses out of the batter, especially if it includes raw eggs-they could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.

Keep an eye on guests: Children or visitors who don’t have pets of their own may think they are doing a good thing by feeding your pet table scraps. It’s a good idea to let everyone know not to feed the animals.

If your house is the gathering place for festivities, consider setting up a quiet room away from the crowd for your pet. If you see your pet becoming stressed or nervous, place him in the room with a few toys or a treats to help him calm down. This room is also a great place to have your pet wait while the humans eat so that your friends and family don’t feed him table scraps during dinner.

Watch the trashcan: While everybody is focused on eating, the trashcan is often left unattended. It can contain not only foods your pets should not have, but also plastic packaging, aluminum foil and other problem items.

Foods our pets can enjoy: A Feast Fit for a Kong While the humans are chowing down, give your cat and dog their own little feast. Offer them Nylabones or made-for-pet chew bones. Or stuff their usual dinner-perhaps with a few added tidbits of turkey, vegetables (try sweet potato or green beans) and dribbles of gravy-inside a Kong toy. They’ll be happily occupied and working hard to extract their dinner from the toy!

For more of Kate’s tips, watch the video above.

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