FRAMINGHAM — Don’t be swayed by Fido’s puppy dog eyes or Mittens’ pleading meows. Instead, resist the temptation to feed them treats from the holiday table.
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With Thanksgiving and other food-centric holidays quickly approaching, an area veterinarian is warning pet owners to monitor which foods are passed on to furry friends.
“The day after Thanksgiving and the day after Christmas, we have a lot more people coming in because their pets have been fed something that they weren’t supposed to be fed,” said Gail Schmieder, medical director for Slade Veterinary Hospital in Framingham. “Having strange food and people feeding pets from the table is a recipe for disaster.”
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Although Schmieder said her advice is meant for both dogs and cats, she said she was speaking more about dogs as they’re more likely to take offered food.
“Cats are a little more particular,” she said. “They are a lot less likely to take anything that’s offered than a dog is.”
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Many foods, she said, are toxic for dogs. Chocolate is one that is well known, but other foods can also be dangerous, such as items that contain artificial sweetener, onions and garlic.
“Raisins,” Schmieder said. “Raisins and items that contain raisins are absolutely toxic for dogs and should never be given to them.”
People must also keep an eye on alcohol, Schmieder said. If someone puts an adult beverage within reach of a dog, they are likely to try to drink it as it is sweet to them. But as with people, alcohol can cause many health issues for pets, she said.
Eggnog is also a bad idea due to the amount of fat in it, Schmieder said. And stuffing should be avoided because it’s often filled with ingredients that can send dogs to the vet.
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Not all foods are bad. Many vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, can be shared with a hungry pup, as long as they’re plain and given in moderation, Schmieder said.
White meat turkey, provided the skin is removed, works as a treat for either a pooch or kitty.
“In my viewpoint, I would recommend giving nothing, other than maybe give them some defatted turkey with their regular meal,” said Schmieder. “That’s something that’s unlikely to cause harm.”
Schmieder said that if a pet eats something they shouldn’t, people can and should call the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ poison control center at 888-426-4435.
Norman Miller can be reached at 508-626-3823 or [email protected]. For up-to-date news, follow him on Twitter @Norman_MillerMW or on Facebook at facebook.com/NormanMillerCrime.