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Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
8:55 AM Mon, Jan. 21st

Watch what you give Fido for Thanksgiving<BR>

After enjoying a Thanksgiving meal, pet owners are often tempted to allow their pets to overindulge.

"But pets can become very sick with intestinal disease if they are allowed to eat the wrong kinds of foods.

Symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea caused by feeding pet too many goodies," Kingman veterinarian Richard Burrows said.

"Every year we see too may cases of sick pets with intestinal disease, and even the more serious cases of pancreatitis, which can be life-threatening - all caused by eating leftover meat or fatty treats.

Be sure to keep their treats small," Burrows said.

When the pancreas is forced to work too hard, it can cause pancreas to become inflamed, causing pancreatitis, a serious illness, he said.

Burrows, who is a pet owner, said it is tempting to slip the dog some treats under the table.

"But large amounts of fatty meats can be harmful.

Ham is particularly bad - it is too rich for a dog.

Even roasts can be too rich.

One bite of lean turkey will not harm a dog, but more than that can also be harmful," he said.

The same applies to chocolate.

Although one small bite probably won't hurt a dog, a large amount will, he said.

Burrows said pet owners should also be careful about where they dispose of the turkey carcass when they are done with the meal.

"Those types of bones are not good for dogs.

Turkey bones can splinter and steak bones are sharp.

Rawhide chew bones are the only safe kinds of bones," he said.

Veterinarian Paula Acer of Kingman said pet owners should be especially careful about letting their animals stay outside in cold winter weather.

"When its cold out, and freezing cold wind combines with already low temperatures, it's hard on them.

Be aware that pets need shelter to get into, or leave them inside.

At least make sure that the animal has some refuge from the cold, such as a doghouse, shed or a garage," Acer said.

"Check requirements for an adequate water supply.

Make sure that the water is put somewhere where it doesn't freeze," she added.

The Arizona Veterinary Medical Association encourages pet owners to maintain the pets' regular schedules, including amount and timing of food, quiet time, frequency and duration of exercises, and the amount of attention you give pets during the holidays.

"Guests are likely to cause stress and disruption to a pet's routine as well as giving them 'treats.' Small animals may be stepped on, unsupervised children may injure them and pets can escape through opened doors," states information from the association.

Beware of holiday goodies left out on counters and table.

They can be tempting to your pets.

And watch out for chocolate, which is poisonous to a pet, advises the association.

"Pets are not garbage disposals for holiday leftovers.

Don't give your pets any people food or table food," states the information.

The association advises calling a veterinarian or one of the emergency animal hospitals immediately if a pet becomes sick or injured.