SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — Studies show that most pet food poisoning cases occur during the holiday season and redefine ‘Black Friday’ for many Veterinarians.

The University Veterinarian Hospital‘s Dr. Allisha Spivey warns that feeding dogs and cats Thanksgiving favorites, such as turkey or pumpkin pie, can have deadly consequences.

“In veterinarian medicine, Black Friday has a whole different meaning,” says Spivey, “We do see things like obstructions and serious GI (gastrointestinal) problems from some of the bones they get.”

She underscored avoiding giving your dog cooked bones as the bones can splinter and can cause serious internal injuries such as perforations that can potentially be deadly.

Dr. Spivey recommends a bowl of pet-safe treats like pumpkin and sweet potato to avoid guests giving potentially harmful food to your four-legged baby.

1.      Can dogs eat turkey? 

“No, turkey in itself is not toxic or harmful, but a lot of the seasonings that we put in turkey can actually cause stomach upset.”

2.               Can dogs eat ham? 

“No, and that’s more because of how high in fat ham is.”

Dr Spivey explains the high-fat content of ham can cause stomach upsets and can lead to pancreatitis.

“Pancreatitis can cause pretty severe abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea; they can be in the hospital. So we want to avoid the things that are high in fat like the ham.”

3.               Can dogs eat sweet potatoes? 

According to Dr. Spivey, sweet potato, raw or cooked, excluding seasoning, is a healthy treat for dogs as they are high in fiber and loaded with benefits.

No, to pumpkin / sweet potato casserole, “All the sugar and cinnamon. Again, these are rich fatty things we want to avoid,” says Dr. Spivey.

4.               Can cats eat pumpkin? 

She says pumpkin is safe if you can get them to eat pumpkin.

5.               Can my dog or cat eat apples? 

Dr. Spivey says absolutely! Apples are a great source of vitamins and healthy calories.

6. Can my dog eat grapes?

“Some people put grapes in their fruit salad, or they’ll use artificial sweeteners – things like that- those are extremely toxic to dogs. So, um, grapes contain a compound that can cause kidney failure in dogs, and it can take as little as one grape for a small dog that can result in kidney failure.”

7. Can my dog eat nuts?

Dr. Spivey says, “Most nuts are okay. Macadamia nuts can cause problems, they are toxic, and some GI irritation, but nuts again are high in fat, and avoiding those high-fat foods is important.”

However, take caution when feeding dogs nuts, such as pecans and acorns. She says they tend to become lodged in their small intestine.

Dr Spivey reminds pet parents and their guests to stay cognizant, ‘so they’re spending time with family rather than here with us.’

She enunciates that Black Friday is an all-hands-on-deck day, and they’re prepared. University Veterinarian Hospital is open from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

After hours: Animal Emergency Center (2421 Line Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71104)

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