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November 19, 2008

No Turkey for You! (if you're a critter)

Don't Feed Your Thanksgiving Meal to Your Pets

 

Broward County Animal Care & Regulation Division Offers Holiday Pet Safety Tips

Thanksgiving time is almost here and Dr. Tim Johnston,
veterinarian with Broward County Animal Care and Regulation
reminds all pet owners to keep their pets safe during the holiday
weekend.

"So much of Thanksgiving centers around food and eating that
people often are tempted to feed a traditional Thanksgiving meal
- complete with turkey and stuffing - to their pets. However,
such a meal can get your pet very sick or can even be lethal,"
cautions Dr. Johnston.

   Instead, the veterinarian offers 10 safety tips to ensure that
your dog and cat stay healthy and safe:

   1. Keep your pet on its regular feeding schedule. Whatever
time you normally feed your pet, stay with that routine.

   2. Feed your pet its regular food. Giving pets Thanksgiving
scraps can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting.

   3. Do not feed your pet any part of the turkey. While people
may think that turkey is safe, often the seasoning from the
turkey drippings, along with the skin and gravy can cause
pancreatitis - inflammation of the pancreas.

   4. Do not give your pet bones; turkey bones are particularly
dangerous since the bones can splinter and cause intestinal
damage.

   5. Secure the garbage pail! Table scraps, food wrappings,
bones and other items can be tempting to your pet. Even simple
items like aluminum foil and the string from the turkey can be
consumed since your pet will smell the food and seasonings on
such items. Therefore, be sure that all trash containers, both
inside the house and outside, are securely closed so that animals
cannot tear through the garbage for a private Thanksgiving feast.

   6. Keep your pet in another room during dinnertime. This way
they cannot sit and beg at the table. In addition, guests will
not be tempted to give them any food.

   7. Do not give pets chocolate! Chocolate is toxic and can affect the heart and nervous system.

   8. No alcohol or diarrhea-causing eggnog! Alcohol can cause coma and death in animals.

   9. Make sure that your pet has plenty of fresh water at all
times.

   10. Most important, make sure that your pet is wearing proper
identification. All pets within Broward (and Miami-Dade) County
must be licensed and must wear the license on their collar. This
is the best way Animal Care and Regulation has to ensure that
your pet is reunited with you if it becomes lost during the
Thanksgiving holiday.

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