The Western View: Keep Your Pets Safe This Thanksgiving

Dan Western View


It’s the holidays, and we need to keep in mind it’s not a safe time for our pets.

Like just about everyone else who lives in the country,  we have our share of dogs and cats.  The have their jobs to do: the cats lay around and boss the dogs, who like to chase the wind and bark at the moon, whether its up or not.  They do their jobs well, so we take care of them, and we know the holiday season is particularly dangerous for them.

We need to remember that our pets can’t always eat the same thing as us.  In fact, some human foods are poison to our pets.

Turkey meat is just as good for our pets as it is for us.  However, the fatty skin is not – too much of the skin can cause pancreatitis in dogs.  We also need to be very careful of the bones; contrary to what your dog may tell you, they do not digest easily and can cause serious internal injuries.

We’ve all heard about chocolate, and yes it’s toxic, but so are grapes, and therefore, raisins. And the alliums – onions, garlic, leeks, and scallions – are also poisonous to our 4 legged friends.  Macadamia nuts are dangerous too.  You also should not let your dogs eat bread or cake,  or any food that is heavily spiced.

With those big sad eyes and skillful begging skills, you know your dogs will get fed, so make sure you’re in control of what they are offered.  I ask visitors to not share food with the dogs until after the meal is over, and to clear it wit h me first.  The dogs can have reasonable amounts of turkey meat, mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoes. They get a little gravy for seasoning – we make a little plain gravy for them that has no onions or seasoning.  A small amount of cranberries are good.   They can also have green beans.

Last thing is, keep track of your pets.  If there will be a lot of people coming and going, there is a chance of a dog slipping out and getting in trouble on the road.  So keep your eyes open and keep your best friends safe.  Don’t let an accident spoil the holiday.

Keep Your Pets Safe This Thanksgiving

I’m Len Wilcox and that’s the Western View.  Happy Thanksgiving from AgNet West and Citrus Industry magazine.

About the Author

Len Wilcox

Len Wilcox is a retired scientist who also ran a newspaper and has written for agricultural publications since the 1980s. He was a regular contributor to California Farmer Magazine. His commentary “The Western View” is a regular feature on Farm City Newsday and AgNet West.