Keeping Your Pets Safe During Thanksgiving

Don’t let that cute face and puppy-dog eyes fool you into giving your dog a turkey bone!

It’s easy to get excited about Thanksgiving, especially if you’re not the one doing the cooking! But one thing is guaranteed is that there will be a lot of wonderful, rich food around this time of year, and our four-legged friends are fully aware of the savory goodness going on around them. Tempting as it may be, please be careful about “treating” your pets this time of year, especially dogs. Here are some fantastic tips from California veterinarian Dr. Bonnie Franklin:

– Put the trash away where your dog cannot find it, and make sure that trash cans cannot be accessed by your dog. They can be persistent when something delicious is inside!

– The leftover turkey sitting on the carving table, or left in an available trash container, could be a dangerous feast for your dog. Turkey bones may splinter and lodge in a dog’s mouth, throat or esophagus or lodge in the GI tract. Anything used to tie up or wrap the turkey, such as strings or bags and packaging, may also cause an intestinal blockage that can become life-threatening.

– High-fat foods, such as turkey skin, are not well tolerated in dogs. They may develop gastrointestinal upset or even pancreatitis, a potentially life-threatening disease.

– All those delicious chocolates around the house are toxic to your pup if eaten in sufficient quantities. Small dogs do not need to eat much chocolate to run into trouble. Dog-proof your chocolate, and also consider what is in it. Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors, hyperthermia, and paralysis. Grapes and raisins in small amounts can cause kidney failure in dogs.

Onion and garlic can also be harmful to dogs and cats. Ingestion of onion/garlic powders or raw or cooked bulbs can cause damage to red blood cells, which could result in anemia. Garlic is approximately 1-5 times more potent than onion, and concentrated powdered forms (e.g., garlic powder, onion soup mix, etc.) are more potent than in its raw form.

Xylitol, a commonly used sweetener, is extremely toxic to dogs. Sugar-free gum has xylitol, as does sugar-free candy, breath mints, baked goods, peanut butter, cough syrup, children’s chewable vitamins, mouthwash, and toothpaste, to list a few.  Even small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure, or even death in dogs.  Xylitol is estimated to be 100 times as toxic as chocolate to dogs. Dogs love to chew “ABC” (already been chewed) gum.

– Ingestion of raw yeast dough can be life-threatening to dogs. Moisture from stomach juices combined with the dog’s body heat enables replication of the yeast and development of a rising ball of dough in the stomach which can cause painful gas and dangerous bloating.  Signs seen with bread dough ingestion include severe abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, lack of coordination, and depression.

– We all know smoking is bad for us, but nicotine in low doses can be fatal for our dogs. Nicotine may cause coma and death. Nicotine patches, lozenges, nasal sprays, gums, inhalers, e-cigarette cartridges, cigarettes, cigars, and cigarette butts are sources of concentrated potentially deadly nicotine.

– Some festive plants and flowers may be toxic such as amaryllis, hydrangeas, lilies, Sweet William, some ferns, Sago Palms, Baby’s Breath and more.  The ASPCA lists toxic plants and flowers on their website. If you believe your pet has eaten something they should not have, call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline 888-426-4435 and go to the pet ER immediately. Signs of a problem may be depression, pain, sudden changes in behavior, vomiting, diarrhea, and shivering.

Pine needles, pine cones and other holiday decorations if eaten could potentially cause intestinal blockages or perforation.

– Watch for potential escapes! Sometimes all the new people visiting can cause a mild-mannered dog or cat to become nervous.  Guests who are unfamiliar with pets, especially yours, may leave the door open or the gate, and your pal is on the move.

Everyone at BMR Insurance Agency wishes you and your family (including your pets!) a great Thanksgiving Holiday! Don’t forget we’re here for you if you have questions about your policy or coverage: Call us at 714-838-1911 or send us an email: Don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn for all the latest and best information and advice on all insurance matters.


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