Here's why you shouldn't feed your pet from the Thanksgiving table

Posted at 6:31 AM, Nov 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 17:18:33-05

Turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole.

We all get to eat to our heart's content on Thanksgiving. Well, everyone except the family dog...

Local veterinarians want to remind pet owners that plenty of people food is dangerous for dogs to eat. If they get into contact with the wrong food, it can mean a surprise and stressful trip to the ER.

"We use a lot of onions, we do use a lot of garlic, both of which are toxic to pets," said Dr. Julie Nelson, an Emergency Veterinarian at Bay Beach Veterinary Hospital in Virginia Beach. "They can actually cause severe anemias in dogs."

Turkey bones, which can splinter and cause interior damage and corncobs are other common foods to keep away from pets.

"[Corncobs] can cause an obstruction and it only takes a small piece," said Dr. Nelson. "Leading them to start vomiting, not being able to eat any food or hold down food and then they come in and you can actually see it on an X-ray. They'd have to go into surgery to get it removed."

That's why Dr. Nelson suggests taking out your trash as soon as you're done with it. It doesn't take long for a dog to get into something they shouldn't.

And don't leave food unattended. If you're baking bread, raw dough can cause a serious issue, she says.

"The dough will expand in their stomach. It'll ferment too, causing alcohol, so they can actually act as if they're drunk, but it produces a ton of gas as well and it can lead them to bloat and have their stomach flipped and have emergency surgery for that," said Dr. Nelson, referencing a case she saw last Thanksgiving.

The good news is the owners brought the dog in quickly, she says, and she able to induce vomiting to take care of the problem.

Bottom line, to avoid Turkey Day troubles, don't leave food unattended and don't feed pets from the table, Dr. Nelson says. Keep it to their daily pet food, which has all the nutrients your pet needs to stay healthy.

If you're unsure if your dog got into something, she suggests watching for typical signs like vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy.

A quick call to the 24-Hour Animal Poison Control line at 888-426-4435 can help you decide if a trip to Animal Emergency is needed.