Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Animal Medical Center at Fort Sheridan!

We know you want your pets to celebrate too!  Small amounts of white turkey meat without the skin, sweet potatoes, boiled white potatoes without salt, butter or sour cream, and pumpkin before any seasonings, sugar or marshmallows are all safe, healthy foods to share with your dog. 

Avoid feeding your dog turkey skin and turkey bones

Turkey skin is high in fat and can cause dogs to develop pancreatitis, a painful inflammation of your pet’s pancreas.  Turkey bones are a definite no.  They have the potential to break off and splinter, which can cause a perforation of the digestive tracts.  If large amounts of bones are consumed, they could cause an obstruction.

Other Food Your Pet Should Not Eat

There are other foods your pet should avoid:  raisins and grapes, excessively salty foods, foods flavored with onion or garlic powder, desserts, and sweets. Especially candy:

Candy

Candies, gums, mints, baked goods and chocolate containing the “sugar free” sweetener xylitol are especially poisonous, causing rapid hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and liver failure in dogs and possibly other species (ferrets).

Chocolate is toxic to pets. Granted, a 50 pound dog would have to eat about 50 ounces of milk chocolate (but only 5 ounces of baking chocolate) for a toxic dose, but much smaller amounts can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Signs of chocolate toxicity include tremors, nervousness, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and in severe cases, seizures and death. If you suspect that your pet has eaten chocolate, consult your veterinarian.

Other candies, such as lollipops and those with plastic components, pose a danger if ingested. Lollipop sticks and plastic parts can cause intestinal obstruction and potentially rupture the intestines, which is a life-threatening emergency.

Remember to keep all leftovers on countertops out of the reach of your pet or secured behind a pet-proof door, and please keep your trash can secure.  Many items used in the meal preparation and then thrown away can be dangerous.   A turkey string, foil wrappers, etc may smell like food and be eaten by a curious pet.

These tips should keep your pet healthy while celebrating Thanksgiving with your family. 

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