Angell Animal Medical Center’s Top Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Pet Owners

As Jamaica Plain prepares to celebrate Thanksgiving, veterinarians at the MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center are urging pet owners to keep their animals safe by following simple pet-safety recommendations throughout the Holiday season.

Thanksgiving, and the Holidays that follow, come with a host of pet hazards—mostly in the form of ingested substances that can be harmful or fatal to our pets. Angell veterinarians are especially concerned about the following ingredients, which are plentiful this time of year:

• Chocolate – even 1/4 ounce ingested can spike heart rate and anxiety in a 10-pound dog

• Yeast dough – raw yeast dough can rise in the stomach and cause severe discomfort; many yeast ingestions require surgical intervention, and even small amounts can be dangerous

• Garlic, onions and chives – large amounts of these products can significantly damage red blood cells, causing anemia and possible kidney failure

• Fatty or spicy table food – bones can splinter and cause damage or blockage in the gastrointestinal tract; spicy or fatty foods can lead to inflammation of the pancreas; moldy or spoiled foods can lead to food poisoning, tremors or seizures

• Grapes and raisons – ingestion of these foods has been associated with kidney failure in dogs

• Macadamia nuts – in dogs, ingestion can produce vomiting, weakness, depression, lack of coordination and tremors

• Raw meat – Angell sees at least half a dozen severe bacterial infections every month, mostly as a result of dogs being fed raw meat; Angell veterinarians recommend consulting with a veterinary dietician when opting to feed a raw diet, or choosing from the many high-quality commercial pet foods available on the market

Angell veterinarians also recommend owners keep their pets away from lethal non-food substances so prevalent at this time of year, namely antifreeze and ice melt—as both can be lethal if consumed by cats or dogs.

“The only sure-fire way to keep pets safe during the Holiday season is to steer clear of toxic foods,” said Dr. Kiko Bracker, a veterinarian in Angell’s Emergency and Critical Care Unit. “Our hope is that people and their pets have an enjoyable and safe Thanksgiving Holiday.”

For additional Holiday safety tips prepared by the veterinary team at Angell please click www.angell.org/HolidayHazards.