You know the look. Your dog gives you those sad eyes from the edge of the table when you are sitting down to eat a delicious meal. At Thanksgiving, especially, you can relate. Even we, as humans, might salivate thinking about the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, ham, pumpkin pie, and all the other goodies that go along with the special day. We want to share the love with our loyal furry friends. However, what might seem like a kind treat could cause your dog serious problems.
Our Veterinary Technician, Hannah, says, “I think a lot of people forget just how much sodium is in turkey and baked hams. Plus, fatty foods can be very harmful to dogs in large amounts.”
According to PetMD, dogs may eat salt, but “too much can cause salt toxicity. Just like people, dogs need a certain amount of salt in their daily diet. Salt, also known as sodium chloride, helps regulate body fluids and aids in the normal functioning of the organs and nervous system.”
“Most standard dog food formulas deliver the appropriate amount of salt for a dog’s body, so any salt they have on top of that is not necessary. When there’s too much salt in the system, it can lead to increased fluid load, causing elevated blood pressure and worsening the signs of heart disease.”
PetMD also notes, “Feeding dogs high-fat foods, including fatty human foods like meat trimmings, can lead to a potentially life-threatening condition called pancreatitis. And because fats contain almost three times as many calories as proteins and carbohydrates, adding extra fat to a dog’s diet can lead to obesity.”
If your pup is wishing for a bone, resist the temptation. Keep raw or cooked ham or turkey bones away from dogs. These might split into slivers when chewed, possibly causing lacerations or obstructions. Harmful bacteria on raw bones might make your dog sick, and the high fat content of bone marrow can cause long-term issues.
Onions, garlic, nuts, grapes, raisins, and the sweetener Xylitol are definite no-nos for dogs. To read more about these and other unsafe people food for your dog, as well as some safe options* (lean, de-boned meats; carrots; apple slices, etc.) visit https://www.webmd.com/pets/dogs/ss/slideshow-foods-your-dog-should-never-eat.
Your best options are always high-quality dog food and treats. So if you can’t control your hand from reaching below the table, make sure it’s holding something that shows your real love for your dog.
*Please note that these “safe options” do not apply to our program dogs. We have a strict policy of volunteers only feeding the dogs the food we provide.