Veterinarians warn dog owners of Thanksgiving food dangers

MIDDLETON, Wis (WMTV) -- Thanksgiving dinner is just two days away, but some of those foods you're looking forward to can be harmful to your pets.

Veterinarians said your Thanksgiving meal should not be shared with Fido.

One woman said she's training her dog now to avoid a trip to the emergency room later.

"This is Sabel. She is a bloodhound," Andreja Tessman, VCA Veterinary Emergency Service & Veterinary Specialty Center Inventory Coordinator said.

Andreja Tessman said she and Sabel are inseparable.

"She relies on me and I rely on her and I want to keep her as safe as possible," she said.

With Thanksgiving days away, Tessman said she needs to put some of her puppy's bad habits to rest.

"Anything good smelling, she puts her nose up in the air and she will put her front paws on a counter," she said.

She's training Sabel to keep her away from harmful thanksgiving foods like turkey and gravy.

"When you have all that food out it's a temptation for them and sometimes as a puppy they don't know any better," Tessman said.

The American Kennel Club released a list of foods that may be harmful for four-legged friends, including:

  • Turkey bones, skin, and gravy;
  • Ham;
  • Stuffing
  • Mashed potatoes, and;
  • Chocolate and other sweets

The organization's full list of don'ts (as well as bunch of do's that their sure to love) is available here.

Veterinarians said if you don't think twice before sharing the feast with your four-legged friends, it can cost you.

"I just don’t want to have to make a trip to the vet clinic on Thanksgiving," she said.

The VCA Veterinary Emergency Service & Veterinary Specialty Center waiting room was empty throughout the day Tuesday, but veterinarians said around Thanksgiving it gets busy.

"Whether it's Thanksgiving Day or a few days later when people aren't paying attention to their dog," Josh Smith, VCA Veterinary Emergency Service & Veterinary Specialty Center Veterinary Specialist said.

Smith said if dogs get a hold of high fat and sugary foods, it can cause an upset stomach and even lead to surgery. He recommends getting treats specifically for your pet to keep them away from the human food.

"Sometimes we overlook that because we have family in town and friends visiting,” he said.

He said Thanksgiving Day can quickly turn into days in the hospital if you aren't careful, so it's important to keep the feast on the table and out of reach of your pets.

"They're an important part of the family to, and we really need to make sure we're doing right by them," Smith said.

These tips are not for just dogs, vets explained your cats should not eat human food either.

The VCA Veterinary Emergency Service & Veterinary Specialty Center is open 24/7 if your pets need immediate help.