Feeding Thanksgiving scraps to your pet could lead to a painful, expensive Black Friday

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — Black Friday is busy for retailers, but many do not know how much business picks up at the veterinarian. Ali’i Animal Hospital and Resort in Honolulu and Kailua reported seeing many animals being taken in after eating too many Thanksgiving table scraps.

“Every year we get pets coming in on the Friday after Thanksgiving, sometimes Saturday and Sunday too. It can range from just a minor GI upset to a really seriously ill pet — which is really sad,” Veterinarian Dr. Maureen Rankin said.

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Not everything on the table is bad for your pet, but there are certain things to avoid.

“We don’t want to be giving them just regular stuffing or anything. Generally, we recommend against giving most table scraps, higher fat foods; so, like the brown meat in the turkey, or if you’re like a ham person,” Dr. Rankin explained.

Fatty foods can lead to pancreatitis, which can be very painful for pets.

“Oftentimes it induces pretty profound vomiting, and they’ll just vomit, they won’t eat, they can’t stop vomiting. So, initially, they’ll vomit food, and then they’ll vomit bile and it ratchets up — it’s really sad. So, those dogs and cats too can be so ill that they actually need to be hospitalized,” Dr. Rankin added.

It can also lead to an expensive hospital bill, which would come at an inopportune time.

“Thousands of dollars for a hospital stay I think, on island. I’ve worked in a couple of different places and it can be a thousand dollars a day in a lot of places and sometimes more,” Dr. Rankin stated.

Chicken bones are a no-no for dogs and cats, as well as turkey bones.

“They fragment them into little pieces, and then they get stuck together in the intestines and then it really hurts to come out the other end. It can be so painful for dogs and cats to get rid of that at the end of the day,” explained Dr. Rankin.

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The American Kennel Club said non-buttered and bland things, like unspiced sweet potatoes, potatoes, green beans, peas, pumpkin, apples, and turkey breast, can be given to pets. Dr. Rankin recommends doing so in moderation.

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