5 Thanksgiving Foods Your Pet Needs to Avoid

Photo Credit: Chris Amaral

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks, eat great food and enjoy the company of our family and friends, which often includes our pets. While it’s wonderful to include your pets in your holiday traditions, it’s important to limit the amount and types of food that your pets consume on Thanksgiving. Foods that are fine for humans (and would seem okay for dogs) can actually be very dangerous for your pet.

The following foods should be avoided on Thanksgiving, no bones about it!

  • Turkey Bones: We’ve grown accustomed to the idea of “giving the dog a bone,” but turkey bones are small and can become lodged in a dog’s throat, stomach or intestinal tract. Additionally, these bones may splinter and cause severe damage to the stomach and could puncture the small intestine. Avoid feeding any turkey bones to your pets!
  • Fat Trimmings: Fatty meat, especially turkey skin may be the tastiest part, but it’s also very dangerous for your pet. Fatty foods like turkey skin and gravy are difficult for dogs to digest and consuming turkey skin can result in pancreatitis. Symptoms for this serious disease include vomiting, extreme depression, reluctance to move and abdominal pain.
  • Dough/Cake Batter: Do you remember your mother telling you not to eat the cookie dough? If you shouldn’t be eating it, neither should your pet. Since dough and cake batter contain raw eggs, the first concern is salmonella bacteria. The second concern is that the dough may actually rise in your dog’s belly (sound weird, but it’s possible). This can lead to vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating.
  • Raisins/Grapes: Grapes commonly make the list of foods dogs should avoid, but we like to remind people that they are very dangerous. Though the causes of their toxicity are unknown, we do know that they can cause kidney failure.
  • Mushrooms: Good for you, not for your dog. Mushrooms can damage your dog’s internal organs, including kidneys, liver and the central nervous system. If your dog does eat mushrooms, you can expect the following symptoms: seizures, coma, vomiting and possibly death.

Keep your vets number handy.

Should your pet become ill and show any of the above symptoms, be sure to have your veterinarian’s phone number and the local animal emergency hospital’s number on hand. A quick call to either of them can give you life-saving advice or even help you avoid a trip to the ER. You can reach Boston Veterinary Care at (617) 226-5605.

For a comprehensive list of all foods that dogs should avoid visit: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/people-foods.aspx

Dust Bunnies in Adoption!

What are they?

That’s the question visitors to our Boston branch have been blurting out these days. The unsuspecting members of a local Girl Scout troop had a different reaction. When they spotted the creatures, they simply let out a collective scream.

But not to fear. It’s just Loofa and Popple, two Angora Giant rabbits.

These 7-month old gals have long, soft wool coats, which is why they’ve been mistaken for things like fuzzy slippers and pieces of shag carpet. They even have wool sprouting on their ears, a feature technically known as “fringing.” They each weigh in at about eight pounds, although their coats makes them appear larger. Basically, they’re half fluff.

There are a number of Angora breeds, which were originally developed for… you guessed it… their wool production. Some say they can trace their lineage back to Turkey, others say to ancient Rome. Still others contend that, based on their looks, outer space or a Dr. Seuss book is the likely origin of these bunnies.

The Wikipedia article on angora rabbits states that they’re active, playful and social. Loofa and Popple are no exception. Shelter staff would be happy to speak with prospective adopters about what diet, housing and grooming routine these luxurious ladies would need to keep them healthy and happy in a new home.

To learn more, feel free to contact Boston Adoption at adoption@arlboston.org.