Tip for the Holidays: A safe Thanksgiving meal

Thanksgiving is almost here and as always one of the many things I am thankful for is a life full of dogs. On this National holiday when family and friends come together to share a big meal, I like to give the dogs a special meal too. Their special meal will NOT include the fatty leftovers from the turkey, gravy or a lot of butter! I will be sure to tell my relatives that although they may want to be kind to the dogs and share- today is off limits! When I worked for a Vet I remember dogs coming in after the holidays suffering from acute pancreatitis.

The pancreas aids in the digestion of fats (as well as starches and proteins), but when overly taxed, it can become inflamed and release excessive enzymes causing inflammation and what amounts to the digestion of the organ itself. Signs of pancreatitis include vomiting, diarrhea, and not eating-but if your dog exhibits these signs, a Vet will need to determine if it is pancreatitis. This condition can be very serious and may require hospitalization. The best way to avoid this dangerous side effect of “holiday cheer” is to give your dogs the less fatty items.

I hope I don’t have to mention that the cooked bones of the turkey are a HUGE NO NO!! As I have mentioned in a past post, cooked bones are very dangerous. Poultry bones are some of the most dangerous as they are brittle and splinter easily. They are very likely to perforate the intestines.

As I know that this day will be busy and food will be in the kitchen unattended and the trash can may be full to the brink of plastic wrap, aluminum foil, turkey bones and other hazardous items, the kitchen will be off limits to the dogs. Normally they are in the kitchen while we cook, but not on holidays.

My dogs’ menu will include the turkey neck (RAW), a small amount of cook white meat turkey (no skin) a few slices of sweet potato (cooked as a whole potato then sliced- no butter, no brown sugar added) and a brussel sprout or two. If you feed kibble and want to add some fat free chicken broth for flavor, I am sure they would say thank you.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Nat  – (November 21, 2009 at 5:49:00 PM PST)  

Great post, and interesting info about the pancreas! Mika and Wall-e would LOVE the Thanksgiving dinner your dogs will get -- well, Wall-e might not like the brussel sprouts (haven't tried those yet). He's not a veggie kinda guy, but he does love sweet potato. Mika will eat anything, lol, she's your classic chow hound!

~Nat

Acadia Shelties  – (November 21, 2009 at 7:57:00 PM PST)  

Hi Nat-
I expect to find a few brussel sprouts rolling around the floor! Not all of my guys like them either- but I will offer them anyway.
Cadie

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