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Photo illustration by Samuel Hoffman | The Journal
Pet food

Table scrap do’s, don’ts

Those puppy dog eyes. That whimper. That nose in your lap, pressing down ever-so-gently to say, “Hey, I’m here. That smells good. Gimme.”

I suppose just one bite of Thanksgiving dinner won’t hurt Fluffy …

The problem is, when is it ever just one bite? Dogs and cats are supposed to be on as consistent a diet as possible, and the number of pets brought into the vet during the holidays spikes, says Andrew Riebe, a veterinarian with the Waynedale Animal Clinic.

Which indicates, pet mommies and daddies might be sneaking their furry children one too many snacks off the holiday dinner table.

The first thing to avoid, Riebe says, is high-fat foods. Turkey can upset a pet’s stomach or even cause pancreatitis, which results in inflammation of the pancreas, vomiting, abdominal pain and fever.

In serious cases, pancreatitis can be life-threatening.

Don’t feed pets anything with bones. No onions or garlic. No grapes or raisins. No macadamia nuts, chocolate or caffeine. The latter two can especially be toxic to pets, Riebe says.

Not all holiday foods will cause damage to a pet. Some veggies are safe for Fido, such as green beans, carrots and other low-calorie vegetables. Fresh or canned pumpkin is safe but avoid pumpkin pie filling. Cooked rice, peanut butter and small amounts of cottage cheese or cooked egg are all on the safe list for pets.

“It’s always probably best for individual pet owners to contact their veterinarian” about what is safe for pets to eat, Riebe says. “For an otherwise healthy pet, (table scraps) probably wouldn’t cause any problem for people who want to give them something extra.”

jyouhana@jg.net

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