Thanksgiving Is Almost Here by Pauline Larsen (Paw Prints)


It will soon be Thanksgiving, a time when we pause to count our blessings, so we include our special four-footed friends who offer their unwavering love, and loyalty, and we are tempted to share our fabulous Thanksgiving feast with them. Unfortunately this also means that there are a number of tempting dangers around that can spell disaster if not properly managed. Veterinarians experience an increased number of office calls due to digestive problems because humans have invited their animals to celebrate with high fat foods such as ham, gravy, turkey skin, and bones. Turkey bones are hollow and can easily break and splinter into sharp pieces, tearing up or obstructing your pets’ innards. A pet who has a turkey bone lodged in his digestive system might not exhibit any symptoms for a couple days, but when they do occur, symptoms may include vomiting or diarrhea, and he could wind up with an inflammatory condition of the pancreas known as pancreatitis, which can be very painful and quite serious.

A few tips to remember:

* Mashed potatoes themselves are not harmful to pets, but be aware of additional ingredients such as cheese, sour cream, butter, onions, and gravies which are all no-no’s in your dogs diet.

*Grapes and raisins can be toxic to dogs and may cause kidney failure.

*While you may be making the healthier choice by cooking with artificial sweeteners over the real thing, sweeteners containing Xylitol are poisonous to animals, and potentially deadly to dogs.

*Chocolate is a well known off-limits indulgence for pets, no matter in what form, whether its chocolate cake, or an unused portion of baking chocolate that may be left on the counter within paw reach.

*Thanksgiving dinner wouldn’t be special without freshly baked bread, but raw dough can be a major problem for a dog. Yeast contained in the dough will react with the digestive juices and expand in the stomach in the same way it expands in the oven.

*Macadamia nuts are another common sight around dessert time and are poisonous to dogs.

*Dogs and booze are a bad mix, so watch where you put your drinks. What people consider a small amount can be toxic for animals, and keep in mind that items like fruit cake may contain liquor.

So what should you feed your dog for their Thanksgiving feast? A great way to keep your dog busy and happy during your meal is to put a bit of her regular kibble in a Kong, and then stuff it with sweet potatoes, green beans, and carrots with a few tidbits of boneless, well cooked turkey.

By following just a few basic common sense rules, you and your dog will enjoy a fun, safe Thanksgiving, and you will have plenty of time to count your blessings!

The year has turned full circle; the seasons come and go.

The harvest all is gathered in, and chilly north winds will soon blow.

As we take time to count our blessings, we realize that are blessed, truly blessed!.

Count your gains instead of your losses; count your joys instead of your woes.

Count your friends instead of your foes; count your smiles instead of your tears;

Hug your family, friends, and furbabies, knowing that you are truly blessed!

Larsen can be contacted at Paw Prints, Box 373, Newell, Iowa 50568 or by e-mail at


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