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Dangers of Thanksgiving Table Food and Your Pets
Declawing Your Cat and Why It’s Not Humane
The Importance of Socializing Your Dog


Dangers of Thanksgiving Table Food and Your Pets
People look forward to Thanksgiving all year long. It’s definitely a holiday where people love to gather around the table. If you have pets, they probably like to hang out under that table waiting for food to drop.

Feeding pets table scraps is especially dangerous during Thanksgiving. According to the article, “Thanksgiving pet safety,” at the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), “Fatty foods are hard for animals to digest. Poultry bones can damage your pet’s digestive tract. And holiday sweets can contain ingredients that are poisonous to pets.”

The article offers important tips:

• Keep pets away from turkey, which can cause pancreatitis. Other poisonous foods include onions, raisins, and grapes.
• Desserts are too rich for pets and chocolate is very dangerous. Xylitol, used in some sugar-free baking, can be deadly to dogs and cats.
• Yeast dough may cause gas and dangerous bloating in pets.
• Keep the trash shut tight and away from pets so they can’t get to the turkey carcass, any bones, or any string.

“Cats are actually more susceptible to the toxic effects of onions, garlic and chives; however, dogs are also at risk,” according to the article, “Dogs at Thanksgiving: Avoid These Dangerous Foods for Dogs” at Pet Central.

The Pet Central article also points to the dangers of macadamia nuts, which, when ingested by dogs, “can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia.” Other nuts including almonds, walnuts, and pecans can also be dangerous to dogs because they are high in fats and oils.

Keep your pets away from alcoholic drinks as well as salty snack foods.

Make sure to watch your pets on Thanksgiving to ensure they don’t ingest any harmful foods.

If you fear your pet has ingested anything harmful, you can call your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control number at 888-426-4435.


Declawing Your Cat and Why It’s Not Humane
Cats love to scratch and sometimes they get into things they shouldn’t. From scratching furniture to other household items, it can seem like a nuisance for cat owners.

Some owners turn to declawing. However, it’s important to do your research before making any decision.

“People often mistakenly believe that declawing their cats is a harmless ‘quick fix’ for unwanted scratching,” according to the article, “Declawing cats: Far worse than a manicure” at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). “They don’t realize that declawing can make a cat less likely to use the litter box or more likely to bite. Declawing also can cause lasting physical problems for your cat.”

Other countries have banned the practice, but it is still allowed in places in the U.S.

Cats typically start to scratch at 8 weeks old, and it’s normal for them. “It isn’t done to destroy a favorite chair or to get even,” the HSUS article said. “Cats scratch to remove the dead husks from their claws, mark territory, and stretch their muscles.”

When cats start scratching, it’s time to teach them to use a scratching post.

Declawing is much more involved than people realize. According to “Position Statement on Declawing Cats” at the ASPCA.org, “Declawing of cats, or onychectomy, is the amputation of the last digital bone, including the nail bed and claw, on each front toe. If the surgery is performed correctly and the entire nail bed is removed, the claw cannot regrow. The surgery involves the risk of anesthesia, excessive bleeding and postoperative complications, including infection, and is accompanied by pain that may last from several days to much longer unless appropriate pain control is provided.”

It’s important to do research and speak with your vet or an animal behaviorist for alternatives.


The Importance of Socializing Your Dog
You do so much to create a great life for your dog, from providing food, bedding, and playtime to toys and veterinary care. What about socialization? It is a very important part of keeping your dog healthy.

“Improperly socialized dogs risk their own health, pose an injury risk to others, and often jeopardize the ability to provide ideal medical care when it is needed,” according to the article, “4 Reasons Why Socialization is Important for Your Dog’s Health” at PetMD.com.

Four reasons to socialize your dog are:

1. When dogs are poorly socialized they are afraid of new circumstances, setting “off neurological signals that result in hormone secretion by various glands in the body,” the article said. It can lead to stress-related conditions.
2. It’s very difficult for a veterinarian to conduct a full physical exam on an unsocialized dog.
3. Dog owners with poorly socialized dogs often limit exercise due to fear of encountering other dogs and people.
4. It can be difficult or impossible for a groomer to do their job on an unsocialized dog.

Start socialization early. Also called “Proactive Exposure Training” at Preventive Vet, it “can help to reduce the development of fears and anxieties in your growing pup,” according to the article, “How To Socialize Your New Puppy and Why It’s Important.”

Start getting your puppy used to new sights and sounds in the home, from the vacuum to the dishwasher. Bring him out to your yard to explore while he’s on a leash to ensure he’s safe. Introduce him to family and friends, including visitors in wheelchairs and those wearing hats. Make sure to take him on car rides and bring him to local shops that allow dogs.

The more you socialize, the healthier your dog will be, and that’s good for everyone involved.

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