How to avoid getting your pets sick on Thanksgiving

How to avoid getting your pets sick on Thanksgiving

The Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine has a heap of advice about keeping your furry, four-legged friends from getting sick on Thanksgiving.

According to the school, family feasts during the holidays inevitably lead to thousands of sick pets being taken to the vet.

“We tend to see a higher risk of vomiting and diarrhea around the holidays,” said Jessica Bell, instructor at the College of Veterinary Medicine, “Make sure they aren’t eating people food — that’s the biggest tip.”

That means nixing fatty foods like gravy and leftover meat. These can give your pups pancreatitis, where the digestive enzymes are turned on before they reach the small intestine, causing an inflamed pancreas. This leads to pain, swelling, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy and a swollen abdomen.

“If you really want to give your pet a treat, give them a limited amount of low fat,” said Raelynn Farnsworth, clinical associate professor at the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine, “A little piece of turkey will not kill your dog. If you give them a Thanksgiving dinner, they could very well get sick.”

Common foods that you should keep away from your pets are:

Poinsettia sap
Mistletoe berries

Most importantly, keep the turkey and ham bones away, as they can splinter and catch in your dog’s throat – sometimes requiring surgery to remove. Additionally, pets can become ill simply from the stress that comes with being in a crowded, noisy household. Make sure they have a quiet place to retreat to.

“Really, it’s trying to keep the animal’s routine as consistent as possible,” said Farnsworth.