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November is the Perfect Time to Give Thanks to Your Pets
The Do’s and Don’ts of Thanksgiving Dinner and Your Pets
Got Cats? Find Out What’s All about the “Flap?”

November is the Perfect Time to Give Thanks to Your Pets
Thanksgiving is around the corner. With so many things to be thankful for, make sure you don’t overlook your pets. They bring so much joy and add so much to life, and November is the perfect time to give them thanks.

According to the article, “Reasons to Be Thankful for Pets” at Vetstreet.com, your pet “is a member of your family and deserves to be appreciated for all the love and companionship he offers you.”

Some of the great things you get from pets include snuggling sessions, their excitement when you arrive home from work, laughter, they are playful, they are great companions so you’re never alone, and unconditional love. “Pets don’t care what you look like, what you do for a living, that you bite your nails or clean only when company’s coming over,” the article said.

Pets truly “make us whole and happy,” according to the article, “10 Reasons To Be Grateful For Pets This Thanksgiving,” at Adopt-a-Pet.com. The article offers some more reasons to be grateful for pets:

• Animals keep us present and “remind us to be mindful.”
• Pets give us purpose. When you help homeless animals or shelter pets, “it feels worthy and meaningful.”
• Animals are good teachers by allowing us our imperfections and accepting us as we are as we learn and grow.
• Pets keeps us active. We walk our dogs and go on hikes, and we play with our cats and rabbits. They help keep us physical and young.
• We become better. “Studies show that petting an animal can reduce a person’s heart rate as well as their blood pressure, and animals keep us physically healthier overall because they keep us moving,” the Adopt-a-Pet.com article said.

For all pets bring to life, being grateful to them is the least we can do.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Thanksgiving Dinner and Your Pets
Many of us wait all year for Thanksgiving to come, dreaming of mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie, oh my! If you have sneaky dogs or cats who enjoy hiding under the table or standing at your leg begging for a morsel, it might be hard to resist their cute faces. However, think twice before you drop that turkey.

Nothing ruins a Thanksgiving feast more than a sick dog or cat. “In fact, abrupt changes in diet or too many rich, fatty foods are just a few of the reasons why veterinary clinics see an uptick in cases of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) and gastrointestinal upset right after Thanksgiving,” according to the article, “10 Best and Worst Thanksgiving Foods for Pets” at Vetstreet.com.

Many Thanksgiving foods are detrimental to pets who should stay away from things cooked with garlic, butter, sour cream or bacon drippings. “Don’t leave food within reach of counter surfers and take garbage outside so your pets don’t into it while you’re engrossed in the football game,” the article said.

Some foods are literally poisonous to pets. According to the article, “Thanksgiving Pet Safety” at AVMA.org (American Veterinary Medical Association), keep pets away from fatty foods that are hard for them to digest, poultry bones that can do damage to the digestive tract, and some holiday sweets that have ingredients that are poisonous.

The AVMA article offers tips:

• Some poisonous foods for pets include onions, raisins and grapes. Even a bit of turkey or turkey skin can cause pancreatitis.
• Keep pets away from desserts especially ones with chocolate and xylitol, an artificial sweetener.
• Yeast dough may cause bloating and gas.
• Keep trash away and out of pets’ reach.

If your pet eats anything poisonous, call your vet, emergency clinic and/or ASPCA Poison Control: 888-426-4435.

Got Cats? Find Out What’s All about the “Flap?”
Cats are amazing animals. They are intelligent, adorable, fun, playful, and sometimes sneaky. Ask any cat person, and they’ll tell you all that and more. They also may tell you about their cat’s saggy belly. Not all cats develop that flap underneath near the belly, but some do. What is it?

Sometimes cats who are not overweight otherwise may have a hanging belly. “Unlike most dogs that generally have firm bellies, this pouch of saggy skin just in front of the rear legs is common in cats and can often be seen swinging merrily from side to side as the cat trots along,” according to the article, “Why do many cats have a saggy belly?” at PetMeds.com.

The saggy belly is a part of your cat’s natural anatomy. The technical term for the flap of skin is the “primordial pouch,” which also can be seen in some lions and tigers, the article said. “This bit of loose skin and padding at the belly provides extra protection and insulation to your cat during fights when a cat’s practice of “bunny kicking” with the rear paws could result in severe abdominal injury to their opponent.”

It is also said that the flap allows the stomach to stretch in order to hold more food, which would make sense for cats in the wild, according to the article, “Why Does My Cat Have a Flabby Belly?” at Pawesome Cats.

When a cat ages and his metabolism slows, he may store more fat. This could cause the pouch to increase its size as well.

Remember that even though the flap is part of your cat’s overall anatomy, it’s not a reason to keep him otherwise overweight. Keep your cat at a healthy weight to help him live a long life.

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