As we celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend, we may be tempted to include our pets in the festivities by letting them have table food. No matter how hard they try to convince you this is a good idea, please don’t do it. Table food can cause serious problems for pets so be strong and resist those pleading eyes!
• Pets are generally used to a plain and consistent diet. Sudden changes can cause gastrointestinal upset – or in other words vomiting and diarrhea – which is no fun for either you or your pet.
• In more severe cases, pets can develop pancreatitis, a very painful and potentially life threating inflammation of the pancreas.
• Bones, food wrappers and butcher string or plastic can get stuck in your pet’s intestinal tract and may even require surgery to remove.
• Guard your garbage! Pets are notorious for raiding garbage cans when no one is looking.
• Some foods such as chocolate, onions and grapes can be toxic to pets.
• Table food and scraps tend to be very high in calories and many pets are overweight – putting extra stress on joints, the circulatory system and can be associated with hormone imbalances.
• Begging for food by pets is poor manners – your guests might not appreciate Fido drooling on their lap!
• For pets that are on special diets to treat specific health issues or problems, adding table food can completely undo the benefit of the prescription diet.
When your pet looks at you with those big, sad eyes while you tuck into your turkey dinner, be prepared! Consider these options instead:
• Give them a small, low calorie pet biscuit or treat that complements their diet rather than sabotages it.
• Keep them in another room while you eat.
• Take them for a brisk walk (This will help you wear off that second helping of pie ).