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What your pet can and can’t eat for Thanksgiving dinner

Posted at 9:25 AM, Nov 26, 2020

MADISON COUNTY, Ky (LEX 18) — As families sit down for a Thanksgiving dinner, they may want to include all members of the household like the family pet. However, a seemingly innocent move like sneaking some stuffing or turkey under the table could put an end to a festive evening.

“For example, really fatty foods like gravy, greases, certain meats even themselves can cause really serious stomach and intestinal upset. Things like vomiting and diarrhea,” said Dr. Rachael Lander with Advanced Animal Care in Richmond.

Lander says every year around the holidays, the animal hospital sees owners deal with the issue of their cat or dog getting sick from eating human food. Some foods, like grapes, chocolate, garlic, and onions are toxic to pets and can lead to hospitalization.

Even if a food isn't toxic though, it can still be harmful.

“Things can cause an obstruction,” said Lander. “They can block off the GI tract. Bones, even bread doughs, etc.”

Whether forbidden food was given intentionally or a pet snuck a bite behind your back, Dr. Lander says to call a veterinarian immediately.

“Ideally an emergency veterinarian that can maybe offer hospitalization if need be. That's probably my biggest recommendation,” she said. “Sometimes at home, we can try to do certain things on our end as owners, but honestly, it's best to seek out veterinarian help, because they can give the medicine and treatment that is needed.”

The family pet doesn't have to be completely left out though. Lander says there are a couple of safe foods such as small amounts of unseasoned, boneless turkey and canned pumpkin.

The American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Kennel Club also have tips to keep in mind for Thanksgiving.