Banquet for the animalsFrom brimming gravy boats to oodles of noodles, Thanksgiving is the preeminent holiday for feasting. We feast with our friends and relatives; so naturally we may feel inclined to indulge our fur family members, too. And, this is precisely why many food-based pet emergencies occur this time of year.

But, does this meaning you can’t include your pet in the holiday togetherness? Not at all. There are some things to be aware of, however, when it comes to pets and people food.

Stuff the Turkey, Not Your Pet

Given the abundance of food this time of year, it’s no wonder why veterinarians see numerous cases of gastritis and pancreatitis – particularly in dogs.

Considering how serious pancreatitis is we want to stress the importance of keeping your pet away from people food, especially those foods that are high in fat. These include turkey skin, gravy, cheese, fried foods, bacon grease, and many other table scraps and leftovers (most have been guilty of dolling out).

Overindulging your pet in these rich foods can not only result in stomach upset, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal problems, but also jeopardize your pet’s life.

Pancreatitis occurs when enzymes – used in digestion – are activated within the pancreas rather than the intestine. This results in inflammation that is painful and can lead to life-threatening secondary conditions, such as kidney failure, heart arrhythmias, and respiratory distress.

Symptoms of pancreatitis include:

  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Decreased appetite (or not eating for more than 24 hours)
  • General restlessness

Treating pancreatitis is complex, as the inflammation itself isn’t treatable. Supporting the recovery process generally entails IV fluids, antibiotics, and other medications to treat nausea and diarrhea and help affected pets with subsequent symptoms.

Given this, the best solution for your pet (and for you, financially) is to prevent acute pancreatitis from ever becoming a health burden and scare.

Preventing Thanksgiving Pet Emergencies

While there are many considerations when it comes to protecting pets during the holidays, preventing food poisonings or illnesses requires some advanced planning.

It’s safe to assume that food will find its way to the floor, for example, and especially if kids are present. It is also common for well-intentioned guests to think a few table scraps are harmless for your dog.

In some cases, pets with anxiety around new people or situations will experience gastric upset or diarrhea.

To prevent such possibilities, and particularly if you plan on a large gatherings, you can opt to board your pet. Even though it’s most pet guardians’ preference to include their pet in the holiday fun, the reality is it can be stressful and risky.

At St. Francis Pet Resort you can rest assured knowing your pet is given the very best when it comes to personal attention, cozy accommodations, and the comfort of high quality care. Plus, there will be other fur pals to play with, which is always a great benefit for the social pet.

And. if boarding isn’t an option, we recommend the following holiday safety tips:

  • Provide a pet safe zone for your fur companion to relax in during the festivities
  • Keep all trash bins and compost pails covered
  • Ask guests to avoid the temptation of giving your pet any scraps or leftovers
  • Periodically scan the floors and carpets for food and vacuum or sweep after all meals

Holidays are a celebratory time of food, togetherness, and gratitude. From all of us at Godspeed Animal Care, we wish you and your loved ones (and those furry loved ones) our best wishes.