Column: Turkey talk for your furry friends

AA COM 0803 Back to School Pet column Graves

Commentary by Michael Graves

Thanksgiving is a time for family and feasts. But it also is a time for possible distress for our furry friends. Pets won’t be so thankful if they munch on undercooked turkey or an unattended dessert. Want a fulfilling Thanksgiving your pets can enjoy, too? Follow these tips.

Feedback on food

If you want to give your pet a small bite of turkey, make sure it’s boneless and well-cooked. Fatty foods are hard for animals to digest, and poultry bones can damage your pet’s digestive tract. Many foods that are healthy for people are poisonous to pets — including onions, raisins and grapes. And keep the holiday sweets on the table. Chocolate can be harmful, and artificial sweetener called xylitol, often found in sugar-free baked goods, can be fatal to dogs and cats. 

So, what are some pet-friendly tidbits that can be shared in small portions? Green beans, carrots, apples and sweet potatoes — all with no seasoning or butter.

Be safe in the kitchen

Many families gather during the Thanksgiving holiday to cook and eat throughout the day. Be cautious where your pets are roaming during the cooking process. Make sure they stay away from the hot oven door and stovetop. And keep trash cans closed or take them out as soon as they are full.

If you think your pet has eaten something it shouldn’t have, call your local veterinarian right away. 


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