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WSU veterinarians warn against feeding 'people food' to pets for Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving feast for Fido

Your four-legged friend might not be capable of handling your "people food" on the menu for Thanksgiving.

Experts from the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine are warning people not to feed “people food” to pets this Thanksgiving.

In a news release, the pet experts at WSU said, yes, it’s hard to resist sliding a chunk of turkey or two to your four-legged friends, but it’s not always a safe practice.

“We tend to see a higher risk of vomiting and diarrhea around the holidays,” said Jessica Bell, an instructor at the school. “Make sure they aren’t eating people food — that’s the biggest tip.”

According to the release, the holidays see an increase of thousands of ill animals heading to the vet — many as a result of dining on bits of delicious holiday feasts.

“If you really want to give your pet a treat, give them a limited amount of low fat (food),” said Raelynn Farnsworth, a professor at the school. “A little piece of turkey will not kill your dog. If you give them a Thanksgiving dinner, they could very well get sick.”

Farnsworth said cutting out foods high in fats, like gravy or leftover meat on a turkey or ham carcass, is a good place to start. High fat foods can cause pancreatitis.

Other common foods that can be toxic to dogs include: anything high in onions, garlic, alcohol, chocolate, the white sap found in poinsettias, the berries found on mistletoe and lilies.

While most know not to give dogs certain foods, Farnsworth recommended putting a lid on the garbage, emptying it regularly, and ensuring other food is out of reach from pets.

“You don’t want your pet emptying the trash for you,” Farnsworth said.

But what about bones?

Unfortunately, according to the animal experts at WSU, bones from ham and turkey carcasses also cause problems around Thanksgiving, and in some cases require surgery to remove.

— U-B staff report