Animal column: Holiday guidelines for pets | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Animal column: Holiday guidelines for pets

Niki Congero
HOPEFUL HENRY
Tribune Opinion Columnist
Loki is a 10-year-old Shiba Inu mix — he is 35 pounds, he is house trained and he walks nicely on his leash. He came to the shelter when his owners moved. He has just had his teeth cleaned and he likes to smile to show them off. He would like to be without children under 12 and without cats. He does qualify for the seniors-for-senior program. Please come visit him at The El Dorado County Animal Services, 530-573-7925. For Spay-Neuter services and other support, call the Lake Tahoe Humane Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at 530-542-2857.
Courtesy photo |

‘Tis the season for friends, family and holiday feasts — but also for possible distress for our animal companions. Pets won’t be so thankful if they munch on undercooked turkey or a pet-unfriendly floral arrangement, or if they stumble upon an unattended alcoholic drink.

Check out the following tips from ASPCA experts for a fulfilling Thanksgiving that your pets can enjoy, too.

TALKIN’ TURKEY

If you decide to feed your pet a little nibble of turkey, make sure it’s boneless and well-cooked. Don’t offer her raw or undercooked turkey, which may contain salmonella bacteria.

SAGE ADVICE

Sage can make your Thanksgiving stuffing taste delish, but it and many other herbs contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression to pets if eaten in large quantities. Cats are especially sensitive to the effects of certain essential oils.

NO BREAD DOUGH

Don’t spoil your pet’s holiday by giving him raw bread dough. According to ASPCA experts, when raw bread dough is ingested, an animal’s body heat causes the dough to rise in his stomach. As it expands, the pet may experience vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating, which could become a life-threatening emergency, requiring surgery.

DON’T LET THEM EAT CAKE

If you’re baking up Thanksgiving cakes, be sure your pets keep their noses out of the batter, especially if it includes raw eggs—they could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.

TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING

A few small boneless pieces of cooked turkey, a taste of mashed potato or even a lick of pumpkin pie shouldn’t pose a problem. However, don’t allow your pets to overindulge, as they could wind up with a case of stomach upset, diarrhea or even worse—an inflammatory condition of the pancreas known as pancreatitis. In fact, its best keep pets on their regular diets during the holidays.

A FEAST FIT FOR A KONG

While the humans are chowing down, give your cat and dog their own little feast. Offer them Nylabones or made-for-pet chew bones. Or stuff their usual dinner—perhaps with a few added tidbits of turkey, vegetables (try sweet potato or green beans) and dribbles of gravy—inside a Kong toy. They’ll be happily occupied for a while, working hard to extract their dinner from the toy.

THANK YOU

I also wanted to thank those who turned out for Santa Paws; it was nice to meet all of you and Hopeful Henry (aka Santa Paws) enjoyed getting his photo taken with you and your furry family member

I’m hoping everyone has the happiest Thanksgiving ever!

Hopeful Henry is a column managed by Niki Congero, executive director of Lake Tahoe Humane Society & S.P.C.A. Submit questions or letters via e-mail to AskHenry@LakeTahoeHumaneSociety.org or by mail to P.O. Box PET South Lake Tahoe, CA 96158. For more information, visit http://www.Facebook.com/LakeTahoeHumane SocietySPCA, http://www.Facebook.com/Hopeful.Henry or www. twitter.com/LtHumaneSociety.