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Turkey Day; The Begging Event of the Season!

For days leading up to Thanksgiving, your dog will know that something suspiciously delicious is up.

The air fills with the golden aroma of baking cookies, roasting birds, and other intoxicating delicacies. Your dog begins to involuntarily fantasize about that big browning bird, the rich cream gravy, spicy pumpkin pie. . . and he begins to plan his most important day of begging, Turkey Day.

  Although you will be busy and distracted this holiday season, this is the time of year that is most important for you to be extra cautious with table scraps. Your dog will have his biggest, saddest, eyes prepared today for the begging event of the season and you and your family must remain strong. Be certain that your guests and children understand not to give into temptation. A successful Turkey Day to your dog could land him at the emergency vet, or worse



It is best to ask guests to completely avoid treating the dog to any scraps at all.


Your dog will be at his most convincing during the Thanksgiving Day feast. Advise your guests and children not to feed the dog from the table at all. It is difficult to educate an entire party on which dishes are dog-safe and which are toxic, and it is also easy to over-feed Fido, when 7 different people are sneaking him bites. Be stern about this and tell guests that the dog is simply not allowed any table food.

Be extra cautious of where food items are left, a desperate dog having an unsuccessful time begging on Turkey Day can sometimes be enticed enough to steal. The scent of roasted bird can be a maddening perfume to your dog. Even the most well behaved pet can have a lapse of judgment on Turkey Day.

Thanksgiving Day is a good day to consider safely crating your dog, or, keeping him sectioned off into a separate room in the house. Doing so could reduce his anxiety, and could help lessen the chances that he is fed something upsetting to his stomach, or worse, requiring a late night, emergency vet visit. Vet visits on Holidays are not fun. Neither is having Aunt Sue squeal in the night after stepping bare-foot into a warm glob of partially digested Turkey and stuffing.


 Toxic Foods To Avoid:


  • Onions: Onions contain an ingredient called thiosulphate that causes liver failure and hemolytic anemia in dogs. Onions are highly toxic to dogs and can be deadly. If your dog eats onion, it is best to see your veterinarian. Many dishes have onion in the ingredients, and anything with vegetable broth also typically contains onion. Commonly Thanksgiving Stuffing contains onion!


  • Grapes & Raisins: Grapes and Raisins are toxic for dogs to consume and can cause Kidney Failure, and death. Many Holiday desserts contain grape or raisin ingredients. Be cautious not to treat your dog to any oatmeal raisin cookies!


  • Pumpkin Pie and other Desserts: Though fresh pumpkin can be good for your dog, pumpkin pie and other holiday desserts are unhealthy for your dog and can cause upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, or worse. Desserts contain cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and other spices that are unnatural to your dogs’ system sometimes causing upset. Nutmeg can cause seizures and even central nervous system damage. The dairy and sugar in desserts are especially bad for dogs.


  • Nuts: Many nuts can be toxic to your dog, especially Walnuts and Macadamia Nuts. It is best to completely avoid nuts.


  • Alcohol:  Alcohol is extremely toxic for dogs and affects them much more strongly than humans. Just a tiny amount of alcohol can poison a dog causing death. Wine is especially bad since it is made from grapes, however, all alcohol should be avoided.


  • Chocolate: All chocolate is poisonous for dogs to eat, but, the darker the chocolate the more toxic. Be careful while baking this holiday season!


  • Turkey / Ham / Roasted/Seasoned Meats:  The sodium in meats prepared for humans is too high. Sometimes a chunk of ham can have enough salt in it to make a medium sized dog very sick, or even kill a small dog. It is best to refrain from giving your dog meats processed for human consumption.  It is tempting to treat your dog with a little turkey skin, however, the skin can cause gastrointestinal distress and pancreatitis.

**Do not give your dog any poultry bones or any cooked bones at all, as they can splinter inside the dog’s trachea, stomach, or intestines.**

If you MUST to give your dog a bit of turkey, give a very small, unseasoned, piece of breast with NO skin.



Food for Thought:

  • Remember that your dog has a much different digestive system than you, and different dietary requirements!
  • Be cautious of food left on the counters or tables, even a well behaved dog may steal when it comes to turkey and ham!
  • Kennel or keep your dog in a room separate from the dining area during Thanksgiving Dinner. It is a much easier and safer solution than attempting to educate all of your guests on what not to feed the dog. You will enjoy peace of mind, and your dog will remain healthy!
  • If you would like to treat your dog to something special this holiday season, cook something special for him, or buy him a can of extra tasty wet food for the occasion. Do not share from the table.
  • Sweet potatoes are very healthy for dogs, as are green beans, chicken, and brown rice. Do not add salt or any extra seasoning. Do not serve from a can as canned vegetables are high in salt and preservatives. Boiled or cooked plain, these items are acceptable for your dog’s sensitive system.

Happy Thanksgiving from the staff at the Scottsdale Pet Hotel!