I can’t believe it’s almost Halloween!  You know what that means, Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner.  It’s important to remember that even though we want our animals to be able to participate in all of our special celebrations, do not feed them what you are eating unless you know it is safe.  We don’t want any of our beloved pets getting sick due to feeding them the wrong thing.

As veterinarians, we see an increase in the amount of cases of pancreatitis and gastrointestinal upset (vomiting, diarrhea and a decreased appetite) right around this time of year.  There are ways to avoid this if you know what foods to feed and what foods not to feed!

Bones can be very dangerous to your pet and it is recommended that you never feed your pet bones!  They can cause stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea and even an intestinal blockage.  Be sure to keep all bones out of reach of your pet and dispose of them properly!

Be sure to never feed your pet raw or undercooked meat as this is another thing that can cause an upset stomach and carries a risk of salmonella.  This can lead to dangerous bacterial infections in our pets that lead to vomiting, diarrhea, stomach upset and even pancreatitis.  If you would like to feed your dog some turkey or chicken, please be sure it is cooked properly and you feed a piece that is low in fat and not covered in skin.    

There are several foods that we love in our dishes but should not be fed to a dog.  These include grapes, raisins, onions, garlic and mushrooms.  Grapes and raisins can be toxic to dogs and can lead to kidney failure so please avoid feeding these!  Onions and garlic, although quite tasty in our meals, can lead to red blood cell destruction and anemia in our pets so be sure to keep them away from your pet’s meal.  Mushroom ingestion by a dog can lead to vomiting, seizures and potentially death so keep those yummy fungi to yourself!

Sweet potatoes and mashed regular potatoes are ok in small quantities as long as you ixnay the butter, spices or any other additives such as drippings, sour cream or gravy. 

Green beans, carrots and bread rolls are other items that are ok in small quantities as long as they don’t contain butter or spices.  Save the savory stuff for your own dinner plate!

We all consider our pets part of our family and nothing says family like spending time together.  Keep these tips in mind so that we can all enjoy being together without an upset stomach!  Happy Halloween and have a safe fall season!

Liz Foster, DVM