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Central Georgia expert offers holiday pet safety 'do's and don'ts'

It’s best keep pets on their regular diets during the holidays, but if you must, only feed them white meat.

MACON, Ga. — During the holidays, families aren't the only ones looking to get a belly full of that good Thanksgiving dinner.  Your four-legged family members are also probably looking to get a taste, too, but not all food is good food when it comes to keeping them safe.

Some four-legged friends are like family, and that even means pulling up a plate for them during the holidays.

"We include Finley in everything we do, so what we do is he'll sit in a bed beside the table and then when we get done eating, we'll take him to his bowl and feed him his own Thanksgiving dinner," Chuck Fowler said.

Chuck Fowler and his dog Finley have Thanksgiving down pat.
Fowler says he includes his pup, but does it safely and at the advisement of his vet.

"We're pretty strict about what we feed him. We've got a list that we have found from our vet, he provided us with it and tells us everything that he can or cannot eat," Fowler said.

When it comes to the "do's and don'ts" of including your pets in Thanksgiving dinner, Dr. Vernard Hodges of Critter Fixers says there are a few to keep in mind

"Some of the things that we think that are harmless like giving the fat off the turkey skin, that has a lot of fat causes pancreatitis. The ham, that's one of the most notorious things that I see that causes pancreatitis, which could be deadly for your pet,” he said.

Also on the list of no's, doughs and yeast. Hodges says it's toxic when it's raw, and when the sugars break down, it’s even more harmful. No cake, stuffing, or dressing either. How will you know if your pet has had something that its body doesn't agree with?

"The pet will kind of go and hide and kind of stay away because it’s really painful and you'll notice as times go on, you'll see some vomiting, you'll start to see some diarrhea and these can really cascade really fast and cause pancreatitis and possibly some other things that could be fatal to your dog," he explained.

It may be better for your pet to just celebrate with a special canned food and leave Thanksgiving to the humans.

Hodges says it's best to only give your pet their own pet food, but if you just can’t resist slipping your pet something from the table, the safest option is giving them a piece of the white meat, but make sure it's cooked through.

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