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Dr. Keaton Smith is a graduate of the University Of Kentucky College Of Agriculture with a doctorate ...

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Dr. Smith's Journal

I chat about veterinary medicine and the life of a country animal doctor.
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Turducken: A Grave Enemy To Your Pet

Turducken: A Grave Enemy To Your Pet

It's that time of year again where we enjoy family, snow and a host of banquets. Inevitably, there will be food that won't get eaten. We hate to see food go to waste so a grand idea pops in our head, "I'll bet the dogs will enjoy this left-over turkey!"

I know it's tempting, but you need to slow down and think for a minute. Is feeding that entire turkey carcass really good for your pet? The answer is no. 

b2ap3 small image1 4I will be the first to admit I love to see my dogs eat. And yes, I absolutely feed them table scraps from time to time. However, I obey the rules. And if you are going to engage in feeding your pets leftovers, you would be wise to take my advice.

  1. Never Ever Feed Bones! Never. Do NOT set that entire turkey carcass out there. "Well, my grandparents fed their dogs bones and they were fine." No they weren't. They may have survived, but they weren't fine. When your dog chews up the bones, they splinter, so they cut and pierce from the mouth to the colon. They bones mix with the stool and form blockages that sometimes require surgical extraction. Infections set in and sometimes death. 

  2. Never OVER FEED! Seriously. Your chihuahua doesn't need 8 pounds of left over ham. He will eat it until it dies, colic's, develops bloat, sets in pancreatitis, or a host of other serious problems. When is the last time you sat down and ate 40 pounds of food in one setting? Dog's are scavengers by nature, and many don't come with an off button. So feed a small, appropriate amount. 

  3. No SPICY food. Many of our favorite spices are toxic to dogs and they are not used to tons of BBQ sauce. So unless you want to see it all again on your kitchen floor, bland foods only.

  4. No skin or large quantities of FAT. Only the lean portion. Please think about what would happen to you if you sat down and ate 4 packages of raw bacon. When you trim off a pound of fat and then feed it to your dog, you are asking, practically begging for gallbladder upset, pancreatitis, severe Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. that all sounds really good doesn't it? 

  5. Raw is NOT GOOD! So you have a pound of burger you forgot in the refrigerator and you open the door and the stench nearly causes you to vomit. Well, hey, the dogs love raw, dead, stinky things so we will feed it to them! NO! Don't make me slap your hand. Food poisoning is as real for dogs as it is for people. They don't have some super powers that make them immune. If you can't eat it, neither should your dog. 

  6. Vegetables are your friend. With the exception of onions and garlic, your pet can have some vegetables. Mine love green beans and broccoli steamed. It just makes them toot more.

  7. Common Sense. Really, this is all that is needed. Be smart and you will avoid most problems feeding your pet.

This is what it looks like when your dog is completely stopped up with a Turkey Carcass

Have a safe Holiday season and Merry Christmas.

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© Copyright © 2016 Dr. Keaton S. Smith, DVM

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