DETROIT (CBS Detroit) While the sights and smells of Thanksgiving — with its roasted turkeys, garlic mashed potatoes and endless desserts — may be a sweet day for you, it could spell disaster for your most vulnerable family member.
Local veterinarians and the Michigan Humane Society are urging people to practice caution over Thanksgiving as many of the items prepared for humans to feast on may pose serious problems to their furry and feathered best friends.
During the holidays, emergency vets see a significant uptick in pet-related emergencies, many of which are avoidable, according to BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Ann Arbor.
“Every year we see an increase in emergency cases during the holiday season, many of which are avoidable,” said Dr. Marcia Backstrom, an emergency doctor with BluePearl. “While we don’t want to see any emergencies that are preventable, if people do notice their pet exhibiting unusual behavior, we would urge them to get the pet to a veterinarian as soon as possible.”
Backstrom said problems include gastrointestinal irritations with vomiting and diarrhea, pancreatitis from eating foods high in fat, and an increase in animals being struck by vehicles.
But nothing bad has to happen — by practicing these safety precautions and tips, you can make sure the holidays are as merry as possible.
• Make sure to seal garbage bags and place them in a tightly covered container to prevent your pets from getting into something that could injure them.
• Turkey bones, chicken bones and ham bones can splinter and cause the intestinal track to become perforated.
• It is best to keep your pets on their normal diets. Many spices and foods that are safe for humans are not safe for animals. Onions, garlic, chocolate, raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, the sugar substitute xylitol, and raw or undercooked food can create major problems for pets.
• Foods high in fat content can cause pancreatitis in companion animals.
• As guests and deliveries come and go, make sure pets remain safely inside. Doors that are left unintentionally open can result in your pet being hit by a car.
• Poinsettias are also toxic to pets.
• If traveling with pets, make sure they are comfortable. Get them acclimated when they are young by taking them on trips. If needed, herbal remedies or medications can be provided by your veterinarian to assist with calming a pet.