This Holiday season will be unique this year on Cape Ann, for as we look forward to the rest of the holiday season with time set aside for family, and as we remember all there is to be thankful for, we also have to be mindful of the health threat that Covid-19 represents this year. As you prepare for your holiday dinners, limited in size as a safety precaution, we still need to remember to keep our pets safe with the food choices offered. Cats and dogs don’t usually do well with a lot of diet changes, especially if the food contains a lot of grease, fat, bones or skin. So, while your holiday menus present delectable treats you should only share a small portion of cooked meat, vegetables and deserts with your family pets.
It may be controversial for a veterinarian to even condone giving table scraps to pets, however, let’s get real … it’s done. However, take certain precautions when sharing small amounts of table scraps.
Another recommendation is to keep your pets out of the kitchen during prep time if they tend to get under foot when they smell all the deliciousness being created in your kitchen. Additionally, all the activity can be the way an otherwise indoor animal manages to escape outside when the door is open and closed during the distraction of a holiday that includes safety precautions not usually a part of Thanksgiving.
The following tips are a reminder of things that can prevent a wonderful holiday from becoming harmful to our four-legged friends.
Most pets do not tolerate spicy seasonings very well or large quantities of food. Avoid giving pets a sampling of everything on the human menu.
On the morning of the holiday, exercise the dog to try to wear it out before distractions begin.
Make sure to dispose of bones where the pet cannot get to it. These bones will splinter when chewed. Bones can get caught in a pet’s esophagus or intestinal track and could be life threatening. Garbage can be full of bacteria and can make a pet very sick, so make sure garbage is not accessible to the pet.
Turkey stuffing and other holiday menu items may contain onions, garlic, or raisins—all toxic to dogs, so resist the urge to feed your dog that kind of human food. Finally, while on the subject of giving thanks, let’s give special appreciation for all the joy our dogs and cats bring to us. Perhaps, even more these days, when our social lives are limited, the unconditional love we receive is even more special.
From the Manchester Animal Hospital, Jacqie, Francesca and I wish you a very happy and safe Holiday Season.
Dr. Lamb is the Veterinarian at the Manchester Animal Hospital.