Vets Share What Thanksgiving Foods are Safe for Pets and Why Dogs Shouldn't Eat Turkey
Thanksgiving is nearly here, and it's a great time for pet parents to reflect on how grateful they are for their furry friends.
Many pet owners may be tempted to express this gratitude by sharing their Thanksgiving meal with their cat or dog. Unfortunately, almost all the foods humans enjoy on the holiday are unsafe for pets to consume.
To explain why it is better to keep your pets to kibble this Thanksgiving, PEOPLE talked to veterinarians Dr. Vernard Hodges and Dr. Terrence Ferguson of Nat Geo WILD's Critter Fixers.
When it comes to feeding your pet from the Thanksgiving table, the vets say all holiday foods pose a risk. Unlike pet food, most human meals, especially those for the holidays, are heavily-seasoned.
The salt, butter, and other tasty additions pet parents add to their Thanksgiving turkey, and other foods can cause gastrointestinal problems for pets, which could end the holiday with a trip to the animal hospital. According to Dr. Ferguson and Dr. Hodges, too many table scraps can also lead to pancreatitis in pets. Turkey is also unsafe to feed your pets because the bones and other bits can cause painful and potentially fatal obstructions in their digestive systems.
For the pet parents who already have rules about not feeding their pets from the table, Dr. Ferguson and Dr. Hodges warn owners to still keep a close eye on their animals. With the added chaos of the holidays, it can be easy to get distracted and leave food out where your pet can reach it.
Common ingredients in Thanksgiving desserts, like nutmeg, chocolate, and raisins, are toxic to pets and cause serious health issues if ingested by your cat or dog.
To keep everyone out of the vet's office this Thanksgiving, stick to your pet's regular food, even if they give the turkey puppy dog eyes.
Pet parents and their furry friends can still enjoy Thanksgiving together, thanks to Nat Geo WILD. From Nov. 22-28, Nat Geo WILD is stuffing their schedule with the best moments from their vet-focused shows, including plenty of Critter Fixers, for a special week they have dubbed Vetsgiving. Animal lovers can learn more about Vetsgiving and how to tune in by clicking here.