PETS ARE PEOPLE TOO - Thanksgiving is the time of year when family and friends get together to enjoy each other’s company and myriad delicious foods. We have a tendency to include our four-legged family members in this feast, which often results in overindulgence.
Even when we don’t purposely include them, the agile and creative dog or cat can capture a special treat from the kitchen counter, trash or even the dining room table!
Thanksgiving weekend is also a busy time for emergency veterinary clinics. Dogs and cats suffer very serious and sometimes fatal consequences from turkey bones, too much rich and fatty foods and just plain overeating. If your pet is not acting like himself or herself, consult your veterinarian. Your best friend could be seriously ill.
It is difficult to comprehend, but when giving pets treats you must consider the relative size of their body compared to yours. If you weigh 150 pounds and your dog weighs 25 pounds, he or she is only 1/6th of your total weight. If you visualize yourself as a whole pie, comparatively your dog is only one slice of pie. Consequently, sharing an unfinished plate that still holds a generous serving of mashed potatoes with gravy, a side of very rich dressing, a few bites of turkey and a small slice of pumpkin pie with your best friend can make him or her feel miserable.
You do want your pets to enjoy the holiday. Stop by a pet food store and purchase some new dog biscuits or cat treats; then reduce the amount of their regular meal to accommodate the treats they will be getting throughout the day. Remember, biscuits and treats are usually much higher in calories than regular pet food so having them skip dinner may be a prudent choice if they have been snacking all day.
If you are planning a quiet holiday at home without a lot of company and confusion, and you don’t already have a dog or cat to share your life with, this could be the perfect time to visit one of our six Los Angeles City Centers and fall in love with your new best friend. You can get him or her settled in while you have a couple of days off work. What better way to give thanks than to give an orphaned shelter pet a home? You will be repaid with unconditional love and laughs for years to come.
(Brenda Barnette is the general manager at LA Animal Services. She can be reached at: Brenda.email@example.com)