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Veterinarian tips to keep your pets safe on Thanksgiving

Dogs and cats might feel like part of the family, but not everything on the Thanksgiving table can be shared. Some items can lead to vomiting and pain, or worse.

PERRYSBURG, Ohio — You might be tempted to give a bite of your Thanksgiving dinner to the pet begging at your feet but veterinarians warn that some things you share with your pets can be deadly.

Dr. Brooke West of Perrysburg Animal Hospital warned owners need to be aware of a laundry list of items that both dogs and cats can't have.

"Typically no ham, no fatty portions," she said. "White meat is better than dark meat."

She also warned that pets should not get raisins, grapes, anything that contains onion, garlic or avocado because those items are toxic for pets.

Dr. West said unknowing owners often find themselves spending their Black Friday in her care when animals ingest things that can harm them.

"They end up with some pretty significant pancreatitis," she said. "So inflammation and vomiting and pain, and they're miserable for a couple of days. And it can sometimes even be fatal."

That doesn't mean everything on the thanksgiving table is off limits.

"Some of the white meat, little pieces here or there, a little bread," West said.

And with the exception of grapes, West said most fruits and vegetables are also a healthy and safe snack.

Pet owner Yvonne Giddings knows about many of the dangerous foods, but one in particular surprised her.

"Oh! Well I don't put onions in anything!" said Giddings after learning that onions are also dangerous for dogs.

Giddings said she is careful about what human food she shares with her pets, and watches the portion sizes too, but having a dog in the room is one Thanksgiving tradition she can't ever break.

"I can't imagine not having a dog, ever," she said. "I've always, I've gone a few months in my life without a dog. I've always had dogs."

Dr. West advised pet owners who are hosting holiday events to be sure to consider how guests and pets will get along. Understand your pet's temperament before introducing them to groups of people, she said. Some animals might get overwhelmed, and someone could get hurt if an animal feels threatened.

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