I used to have a little dog named Max. Max was short for “maximum-sized dog that I can have in my apartment.” I called him that even though I lived in an old farmhouse in the country. Max was part Chihuahua and part Black and Tan. He was an overly friendly dog, or at least that’s what my vet called him.
Doctor Jones was a typical country vet. He was equally at home with cows and horses as well as dogs and cats. He drove and old beat up pickup truck and sometimes took barter as payment; a few dozen eggs or something like that. He wasn’t afraid to soap up an arm and put it all the way up a horse’s rectum to search out a blockage.
One year, on New Year’s Eve night about 11:30 pm, Max started whining and groaning at the top of his lungs. The poor little dog seemed like he was in a lot of pain. I called the vet and described Max’s symptoms to him. He immediately asked what he had to eat that day. I told him that I had given him a treat, a piece of ham from Christmas dinner with the bone still attached.
“He’s got gas.” The vet said. “All that fat and salt is giving him one big case of indigestion. He asked me if I had any Alka Seltzer or Pepto Bismol in the house. I didn’t. By then it was almost midnight. Off I went to pick up some Pepto Bismol for my ailing pet.
It wasn’t very much fun to get the little dog to swallow any of it. By the time I had finished giving him a dose, I had a very pink dog. But in a few minutes he let out a loud burp and he was all better. It just goes to show that even if it’s around the holidays and you are in a festive and giving mood, it’s best not to share holiday treats with your pets.
Poor little Max was lucky to get by with just a bad case of indigestion, because sometimes feeding pets holiday foods can cause a much more serious problem.
According to the Healthy Planet Magazine: “November houses Turkey Day, and that means tons of great foods, lots of family love and more. Many of our pet health concerns around Thanksgiving have to do with all those scrumptious table goodies getting into the mouths of our non-discriminating pet gourmets. Generally speaking, any introduced and thereby, unfamiliar foods can pose real problems for our dogs and cats. Any item unusually fatty in nature can encourage an acute onset of pancreatitis.”
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas and can even be fatal in dogs and cats. And remember, even though your dog may like sweet treats, chocolate is literally poison to him.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are holidays where everyone can have fun, including your pet. If you want to get him a treat, get a new chew toy or a box of his favorite dog treats, but don’t feed him human food.