By MATT PIKE
St. Joseph Post
Thanksgiving is drawing near and food safety is top of mind, not only for people preparing the meal, but also their pets.
Veterinarian Melanie Barnes with Friends of the Animal Shelter says that as you work to prepare your meal this holiday, as your pets wander around the kitchen, you should be sure to keep their safety in mind.
"Thanksgiving is coming up, and if your pets are around in the kitchen like mine are and yours are, just make sure we're keeping their health and safety top of mind," Barnes tells host Barry Birr on the KFEQ Hotline.
Barnes says that salmonella can drastically affect your pets’ health.
"Making sure you're using good hand hygiene and washing your hands before turning around and petting your pet or giving love to your pet, or even giving them a treat," Barnes says.
Barnes adds one other big concern for pets along with salmonella is E coli.
Barnes says that Thanksgiving is filled with those fatty rich foods, like turkey and gravy, and while they aren't truly toxic to pets, they still could have negative effects.
"Just the rich fatty foods, pets don't break down fatty acids like we do, both cats and dogs and other pets," Barnes explains. "So that can yield to a lot of GI diseases, upset tummies, things like pancreatitis, which is inflammation of your pancreas," Barnes says.
Inflammation of the pancreas could not only be painful for the pet and cost you lots of money in treatment, in some cases it could also be deadly.
Some foods around your home may not be good for your pets, and others can be very toxic for them.
Barnes says to be sure to do your own research to know what foods your animals can and cannot have, because you might be surprised by what foods that aren’t appropriate for pets.
"There are numerous ones that you think are not toxic to us, but grapes and raisins are probably one of the top ones that are probably in the house, especially if you have kids because kids love grapes mind you, and they're very easy to roll off of the plate, onto the floor," Barnes says.
Barnes also says as more people try to eat healthy and turn to sugar-free foods, but those foods are not safe for pets, because they contain Xylitol which is toxic to pets.