DATE: November 21, 2013
MEDIA CONTACT: Lisa Mendheim, Public Education Coordinator
Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Division
BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. - Thanksgiving time is almost here and Dr. Tim Johnston, veterinarian, Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Division, reminds all pet owners to keep their dogs and cats safe during the holiday.
“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 dog or cat very sick or can even be lethal,” cautions Dr. Johnston.
Instead, the veterinarian offers 10 important safety tips to ensure that your pet stays 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 they 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. 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, so that 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. Do not give your pet alcohol or eggnog to drink. Alcohol can cause coma and death in animals. Eggnog is extremely rich and can cause diarrhea.
9. Do 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. Pets can easily escape through the front or patio doors when guests come to your home. Remember that all dogs and cats (even “indoor cats”) within Broward County must be registered and wear the pet registration tag on their collar. This is the best way to ensure that your pet is reunited with you if he or she becomes lost during the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Division is dedicated to providing shelter for lost and homeless pets. Each year, the Adoption Center provides another chance for thousands of dogs and cats hoping for a new home. Please prevent the birth of unwanted animals and have your pet spayed or neutered. Financial assistance is available to income qualifying individuals who want to have their pets sterilized. For more information, visit Broward.org/Animal, follow us on Twitter.com/BrowardPetPals or "like us" on Facebook.com/BrowardPets.