Thanksgiving is a time when we give thanks, and this typically includes sitting down to a feast of turkey and all the trimmings. For people, this is a time when more than the turkey gets stuffed. For a dog, that piece of food you dropped under the table could be a life or death nibble. Alcoholic beverages are often served at Thanksgiving meals, but keep them away from the dog to avoid alcohol poisoning. When you are preparing to sit down for your big Thanksgiving feast, keep the dog out of the kitchen and away from the trashcan during meal preparation, ask guests not to feed the dog, and be on the lookout for these top hidden food dangers for dogs.
Save the Table Scraps for the Trash – While no one likes to waste food, your dog is not a garbage disposal. Table Scraps drop from the table, especially if young children are eating the Thanksgiving meal. While it can be quite cute to watch how happy the dog gets when licking up the scraps, excessively fatty pieces of meat, including bacon, can send many small breeds, and some other breeds, into a pancreatic attack.
Turkey Bones Are Not A Dog Treat – Save the wishbone for wishing between your human friends or family, and be careful not to let your dog chew on the turkey bones. While, dogs do love to chew on bones, some bones pose a danger. Small bones are a big problem, but even bigger bones can splinter and get stuck inside the dog’s esophagus or worse – their intestines or stomach, where they have the potential of causing a rupture.
Pass The Rolls, Please! But, Not The Dough – Yeast from pre-baked rolls or breads is dangerous for dogs because their stomachs are warm and cause the yeast to rise after being swallowed. When the yeast begins to rise, it releases carbon dioxide that potentially causes GDV Gastric Dilation-Volvulus and a distended abdomen. If that isn’t harmful enough, the yeast and the sugar in dough ready for baking metabolize into alcohol.
Keep The Cornucopia of Fruit On The Table and Be Sure That The Stuffing Stays Inside The Turkey – Grapes or raisins served on the side or as part of the stuffing can cause kidney failure in dogs. The kidney issues usually don’t show up for a few days, so unless you happen to see your dog eat the grape or the raisin, you may not know until the suffering has begun. Stuffing quite often also includes onions or spices of garlic or chives. Foods from the Allium family of plants. These plants usually have a flowering bulb on top of green stalks and include onions, garlic, leeks, or chives. What happens when a dog ingests Allium is complicated but endangers the dog’s red blood cells because of an oxidative hemolysis process.
No Chocolate Dessert for Dogs – While chocolate is toxic for a dog, it is rarely fatal. Still, it can cause some major discomfort for your four-legged friend. The culprit in chocolate that makes it harmful is the methylxanthine theobromine which acts like a stimulant and a diuretic. It is similar to you or I drinking copious amounts of caffeine-packed espresso, but to the extreme.
Xylitol is becoming a popular sweetener in foods like some peanut butter, breath mints, gum, and chewable vitamins, because it is a sugar-free alternative and has some potential health benefits for humans. But, it has a deadly effect on dogs. Before you let the dog lick a peanut butter treat or anything off of the dessert tray, be sure to check the ingredients.
Now that we’ve scared the stuffing out of you . . .
Have a Great Thanksgiving!
And speaking of giving thanks:
To Gloria Yarina who provided the wonderful photos to illustrate this blog post and to Terre J Scott who compiled and composed this fine research.