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Don’t Let Thanksgiving Poison Your Pets

Vetco Thanksgiving

Vetco ThanksgivingThanksgiving is a great time for food, friends and family. Of course, family includes the family pet. But if you want to stay at the table and not end up at you Albuquerque Veterinary office, then you should follow these safety tips.

Your Food is Poison

That yummy food might be great for you but for your pet it could be poison. Not all human food is good for your pet to eat. Often our holiday meals are filled with foods that can make your pet seriously ill.

  • Fatty Foods: Fatty foods are hard for animals to digest. They are also known to cause pancreatitis in dogs. One of the signs of pancreatitis is vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy. It an also be deadly.
  • Not Healthy: Raisins, grapes and onions might make up a healthy diet for humans but for our pets it is poison. These foods are very difficult to digest and can cause a variety of gastrointestinal issues.
  • No Chocolate: Your dog may want some of that chocolate pie, but do not share it. Chocolate is very bad for pets and can even be deadly to both cats and dogs.
  • Sweeteners: Many of us are swapping out sugar for sugar alternatives so we can be a bit healthier when we eat our desserts. A common artificial sweetener called xylitol, which is commonly used in gum and sugar-free baked goods, can be deadly to cats and dogs.
  • Dough: Dough can be a special treat for kids but can cause painful gas and dangerous bloating in your pet, especially dough that contains yeast. If you want to give your pet a sweet treat, make them a nice home made dog biscuit.
  • Take out the Trash: You are doing a great job at putting away all the food on the counter, and not giving your dog scraps. But when you have your back turned he may start digging in the trash where he get get his mouth around all sorts of food he shouldn’t be eating, like turkey bones, strings and packaging. Keep your trash in a tightly closed bin or take it out.
  • Centerpiece: No one things about the pet eating the table center piece or that pretty bouquet of flowers your guests brought. But there are plenty of plants that are toxic to your pets. These include amaryllis, Baby’s Breath, Sweet William, some ferns, hydrangeas and more.

Food Safety

Make sure you take precautions with all your food prep. You don’t want your pets or your family to get sick because of a foodborne illness. Hand washing and proper food prep is important. Make sure you know about safe food handling and preparation to keep your whole family safe.The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers tips for handling, thawing and cooking turkey, as well as saving your leftovers. Because nothing ruins Thanksgiving like food poisoning.

If you notice your pet vomiting, having diarrhea, lethargic, or loss of appetite please call your vet immediately.

Halloween Safety for Your Pet

albuquerque halloween dog

albuquerque halloween dogThe best way to have a Happy Halloween is to keep your family safe and that includes your pets. Here are some great tips to help keep your pets safe and keep your Halloween happy.

No Candy – Candy is not good for your pets. In fact, most candy is dangerous for your pet. Chocolate is especially bad and can make your dog very sick. So if you want to give treats to the dogs trick or treating at your door, get some dog treats and keep the kid treats for the kids.
No Eating Jack-O-Lanterns – Pumpkins are good for your dog, but allowing him to eat the whole pumpkin is not. Eating too much pumpkin can give him an upset stomach. Plus most jack-o-lanterns have been out for a few days after being cut which can lead to them getting mold. The mold can also make your dog feel sick. So its best to not let them eat your leftover pumpkin.
Costumes! Some dogs like costumes. But if you don’t normally dress your dog up, then don’t start on Halloween. This can cause your pet anxiety which can lead to aggressive behavior.
Microchip: It is not uncommon for dogs or cats to get scared on Halloween. There is so much activity around the neighborhood and at your door that it can freak them out. Make sure your pet is microchipped so if they get out of your house or yard, and can’t find their way back, that they can be easily returned to your home. We also recommend putting your pets into a room where they are away from all the activity so they have less of a chance of getting out. You can come to our daily walk-in shot clinic to get your pet microchipped.

Not Just Aggressive Dogs Wear Muzzles

albuquerque muzzleMost people believe that muzzles are used only on aggressive dogs to keep them from biting. This is not true. Muzzles have a lot of uses for even well behaved dogs.

Some uses of Muzzles:

The Vet

Dogs are typically nervous and anxious when the visit the vet. They are in a strange environment, often with a lot of unfamiliar animals around, and then they meet someone who pokes and prods and often sticks them with a shot. Just like our visits to the doctor, it is not the most fun in the world. When a dog experiences anxiety and fear and they are in a situation they cannot leave that can turn into aggression. It is not uncommon for very well behaved and sweet dogs to snap at the vet or vet tech. It is not because they are aggressive, it is because they are afraid. If a dog does get aggressive the vet will sometimes put on a muzzle or use gauze to wrap around their mouth to create a muzzle. This can also be stressful for your dog. Additionally if your dog bites someone, even the vet, they often have to be put into quarantine which can be very stressful for them as well. Putting on a muzzle prior to the visit is a good way to help prevent any unwanted injury to you, anyone trying to assist the dog, and even your dog himself. . If your dog is already use to the muzzle then wearing it is not a stressful experience.


Meeting New People

Many dogs get anxious in new situations or meeting new people. Working with them through behavioral therapy can help them learn to cope with unfamiliar environments, situations and people. Using a muzzle while you are doing the training is a good tool to help keep everyone safe while you are doing more challenging therapy.

When your dog is meeting other dogs or other animals, using a muzzle is a good way to help ensure that they don’t have any sudden outbursts of aggression. Even dogs that are great meeting other people and other dogs might not be great meeting a cat or a horse. A muzzle is an excellent tool for desensitization training.



More places in the country and world are requiring dogs wear muzzles in public, especially bigger dogs. If you travel to a country, like France which requires muzzles for larger dogs, you may have your trip ruined if your dog is not muzzle trained and you can’t bring her in public. Muzzles laws have also been put into place as an alternative to banning breeds, like Denver where pit bull’s are outlawed.

Racing and Other Games

As more and more people are getting into the dog life, more sports for dogs are coming about. Racing is gaining popularity and in any race muzzles are requires.



Types of muzzles.

Basket muzzles are the most common type of muzzle. They are bulky but are easy to feed through the basket. It is also easy for your dog to pant and drink with the basket muzzle. The basket muzzle is the safest for long term wear and even though they can eat, pant and drink, your dog still cannot bite anyone.

Mesh muzzles are great for quick use like at the vet or during transportation, or in a pinch. They can easily fit in a bag or pocket. They do not allow for panting and keep your dogs mouth closed so they cannot pant or eat. This is why they should only be used for short term.

A “softie” muzzle is a comfortable fit and similar to the mesh muzzle. It still allows your dog to pant but not to eat treats or bit. Though for highly aggressive dogs, some have been able to bite through the soft sides which makes the muzzle ineffective.

Some people like to use head halters, and they can work as a muzzle but do not offer the same level of control as a safety muzzle.

If you are unsure about using a muzzle or how to safely use a muzzle with your dog, talk to your vet or a trainer.

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8200 Menaul Blvd NE #R Albuquerque, NM 87110 Phone: (505) 292-3030

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The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.