It’s that time of the year again. The turkey is ready to go in the oven. You’ve got some dishes prepared already, while others you’ll get to shortly. Friends and family will be flocking in by the car load, mouths watering and stomachs growling.
And then there’s your family dog(s), just waiting for the opportune moment to pounce, to beg, and to get some of those Thanksgiving goodies into their own belly.
All food is not created equal though in our canine companions. Much as we might have someone in the family with a nut allergy, and thus cannot consume the sweet potato casserole baked with walnuts, or Aunt Theresa’s delectable peanut butter fudge, there are certain foods that can be dangerous, if not lethal, for our furry friends to consume, and many of them might find themselves on the dinner table during your holiday feast.
Here’s a quick list of toxic and/or dangerous foods to keep well out of reach of your pets during your holiday meal:
- macadamia nuts
- raisins and grapes
- alcohol (specifically ethanol)
- cooked bones
- chocolate (the darker the chocolate, the more toxic)
Now remember, these foods are mostly dangerous outright on their own, but also pay heed to them as potential ingredients in something that you wouldn’t automatically think about. Say, stuffing with onions in it, or a rice pudding dessert sprinkled with raisins. Also worth noting is that not all of these foods can be lethal if consumed. The biggest offenders on this list are raisins, grapes, cooked bones and chocolate, as they can cause the most dangerous complications post-consumption. Raisins and grapes can cause renal failure, cooked bones can splinter and perforate intestines, and the caffeine and theobromine in chocolate causes a toxicosis that can quickly result in seizures and death.
In the end, it’s the portion size, breed, and the size of your dog that determines how the food will affect them. Puppies and dogs of smaller size/weight are more susceptible, of course, compared to a Siberian Husky or larger when it comes to toxicity, but the discomfort and gastric upset can cause a world of problems on their own even if not ingested in a lethal dose. It’s best to always err on the side of caution. Don’t just sneak your dog a piece of fudge because, “Oh, one won’t hurt him.” Keep your dogs away from these toxic foods. Period.
I know what you’re thinking, “But I want my dogs to share in the holidays with us! Isn’t there something that we can give them?!”
Sure there is! While you’re preparing that turkey when it’s still raw, your dogs can find a nice treat in the raw organ meat and turkey neck that is often discarded. When I say raw, I mean just that. Totally raw. Not cooked, not heated, not even partially. Complete and totally raw. Raw bones are healthy treats for dogs, and can act as a toothbrush, too. Bear in mind, however, that if your dog is not used to consuming raw meat, or any table scraps for that matter, you’ll not want to let them indulge themselves. Keep the treats small and in moderation. And if you have the kind of dog that seems like he “inhales” his food, be sure to monitor them for safety. Never give your dog a cooked bone, no matter the size.
So there you have it. Have a fantastic Thanksgiving everyone, and keep those pups of yours happy and safe!