Staff Report

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla – The Thanksgiving holiday is here, and did you know it can be dangerous for your pet? Broward County Animal Care and Adoption wants to make sure residents know how to care for their pets over the holidays.

“So much of Thanksgiving centers around food and eating that people are often tempted to feed a traditional holiday meal – complete with turkey and stuffing – to their pets. But those foods can actually make your dog or cat very sick, and at times, can even be deadly,” cautions Dr. Tim Johnson, Veterinarian, Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Division.

Here’s a list of reminders for keeping your pets safe this holiday season.

1. Feed your pet his regular food as usual – the same food at its normally scheduled feeding time.

2. Do not feed your pet any part of the Thanksgiving meal. While people may think turkey is safe, often the seasoning from the turkey drippings, along with the skin and gravy can cause pancreatitis – inflammation of the pancreas. Turkey bones are particularly dangerous since they can splinter and cause intestinal damage. Keep your pet in another room so it can’t beg at the table.

3. Secure the garbage pail! Table scraps, food wrappings, bones and other items can be very tempting. Items like aluminum foil and the string from the turkey can be harmful if consumed. Be sure that all trash containers, both inside the house and outside, are securely closed so that animals cannot tear through the garbage for a private Thanksgiving feast.

4. Do not give your pets chocolate, alcohol or eggnog! Chocolate is toxic and can affect the heart and nervous system. Alcohol can cause coma and even death. Eggnog is very rich and can cause diarrhea.

5. Most importantly, make sure your pet is wearing proper identification. Pets can easily escape through the front or back doors when guests come into your home. Remember, all dogs and cats within the county must be registered and wear the Broward County Registration tag on a secure collar. This is the best way to ensure that your pet is reunited with you if he or she becomes lost during the Thanksgiving holiday or any other day.

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