• Animals Best Friends: Thanksgiving treats aren't for pets

  • This Thanksgiving we need to not only give thanks for our friends and relatives, but also for our pets.

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  • This Thanksgiving we need to not only give thanks for our friends and relatives, but also for our pets. Pets bring so much joy to the lives of humans. They are always there for us and love us no matter what.  We should show them how much they mean to us by keeping them safe during the holidays.
    The cooking begins and the family pets migrate to the kitchen due to the aroma of turkey and other goodies being prepared. They give us the big eyes and beg for a bite. Although we want to share the bounty with them, we also need to think about what we can and cannot give them. Their health comes first so the treats must be safe.
    Dressing should never be given to a pet. The spices in it can make pets very sick. Raw meat, raw dough, or cake batter should never be given to a pet. Raw meat or cake batter may contain salmonella bacteria. Raw dough tends to rise in the pet's stomach, which causes pain and bloating. All of these will make a pet very sick and could result in a visit to the animal emergency clinic.
    Alcoholic drinks should always be kept away from pets. Alcohol is toxic to pets; it depresses their nervous system and can cause hazardous drops in their blood sugar level. If one suspects that a pet has consumed alcohol, the pet should be taken to a veterinarian right away. Alcohol can kill a pet!
    The ASPCA lists all the toxic human food items on their website www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/people-foods.aspx. These include sugarless gum, chocolate, raisins, onions, macadamia nuts, and avocados.
    What treats can you give your pet? One treat our dogs love is green beans. Dogs and cats both can be given small amounts of steamed green beans, carrots or broccoli. Keep in mind that veggies can affect their systems the same way as ours. A pet that has been given too many veggies should not be reprimanded for having an accident on the floor.
    Small bites of cooked poultry can be given to dogs or cats. Bear in mind that poultry is rich and too much can make a pet sick if he or she isn’t used to eating cooked poultry. Never give your pet poultry bones! Chicken and turkey bones are thin and splinter easily; they can become lodged in the pet’s throat and choke the pet. Cats can have small bites of cooked fish, but too much fish will deplete a cat’s system of Vitamin E.
    One thing that is usually in the kitchen this time of year is pumpkin. Plain pumpkin from a can stuffed into a Kong toy and frozen is a real treat for a hungry dog. Pumpkin puree can also be fed to cats to help them with constipation or issues with diarrhea. Pumpkin is also a good filler to add to canned food to help a pet lose weight.
    Page 2 of 2 - Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to gather together. It is a time for us all to count our blessings and be grateful for what we have. Our pets love us so much and give us so much yet ask for little in return. We should be thankful for them as well and show them how much we appreciate them.
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