The Humane Society is warning Americans not to feed their pets Thanksgiving dinner, because this might negatively impact the animals’ health and well-being.
The same advisory message has also been issued by representatives of the SPCA, who also state that leftovers and food scraps from the copious Thanksgiving meal can actually put the pets’ safety at risk.
As spokespersons of the Humane Society have said, numerous cats, dogs and other privately owned animals become sick or ill after having eaten inappropriate types of food during the holidays.
As they explain, pet owners should resist the temptation to share their Thanksgiving dinner with their beloved animals, because even the smallest portions of these meals could turn harmful.
Guidelines proposed by the Washington D.C.-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect animal welfare clearly specify that pets should only be given food that they are used to consuming. Any other meals might not be well-tolerated, and could result in unexpectedly severe adverse reactions.
The highest danger is posed by bones, which are also among the most common food items given to pets. Apparently, ham bones have excessive amounts of salt, which cause digestive problems to cats and dogs.
Turkey and other poultry bones are also perilous, given the fact that they are fragile and easily broken, and their tiny fragments can become lodged in the animal’s throat or esophagus. In addition, the sharp shards can even puncture the intestines and stomach, or cause fatal suffocation.
Another problem is represented by pumpkins and sweet potatoes, which are obviously a staple of the modern Thanksgiving dinner.
No matter how scrumptious pumpkin or sweet potato pies may be or how eager pet owners might be to allow their animals to have a taste of this sugary treat, it’s highly advisable to abstain from sharing this type of food.
Pies are usually aromatized with nutmeg, which contains myristicin, a neurotoxin which can trigger seizures and other central nervous system issues. Similarly, large intake of cinnamon leads to diarrhea, vomiting, and liver problems, and can even be fatal to pets.
Another harmful habit is feeding cats and dogs stuffing or gravy, especially if it contains sage, which can cause indigestion and neurological disorders. Also hazardous are other commonly used ingredients such as mushrooms, pepper, chives, garlic, onions and leek.
Sharing foods with walnuts or macadamia nuts is another mistake, because of their mycotoxin content, which also increases the risk of convulsions and central nervous system damage.
Even fruit salad can be harmful, if it includes grapes or raisins, which can cause life-threatening kidney issues among dogs. Mashed potatoes cooked using milk and butter also have a negative impact on the pet’s health, causing diarrhea and an upset stomach.
Last but not least, cookie dough and cake batter should be avoided, because the consumption of uncooked eggs can infect the pets with salmonella, and the same risk is also posed by raw or insufficiently cooked meat.
The SPCA also supports these recommendations, adding that foods rich in sugar (such as chocolate or cake) and fat (such as meat drippings) are also detrimental to the animals’ safety.
To ensure that their pets experience no health issues during the holidays , owners should also always keep trash containers covered with a lid, so that animals can’t reach discarded food waste.
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