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Keep pets away from Thanksgiving table to avoid deadly food disasters: experts

Dough not let dogs near the kitchen.

A golden retriever named Pippa couldn’t resist chowing down on some unbaked bread that sent her straight to the ER on Thanksgiving last year.

Now, vets are sounding the alarm about the baking boo-boo and other potentially deadly food disasters.

“When I went to put them in the oven, I found that half of them were gone. It didn’t occur to me Pippa would be interested in bread dough,” said Rebecca Collins, Pippa’s owner.

Collins realized the dog must have gotten into the dough when she started acting odd.

“I noticed that Pippa was acting sleepy, which is very unusual for her. Normally, she’s running around when company is over.”

The owner immediately called the Pet Poison Helpline and found out that “unbaked bread dough containing yeast can be dangerous when ingested by dogs and cats,” according to Dr. Renee Schmid, a Pet Poison Helpline senior veterinary toxicologist.

bread dough
Pippa’s owner left the unbaked dough out — not expecting the dog would take a bite.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

“When ingested, the unbaked bread dough expands in the warm, moist environment of the stomach and releases carbon dioxide gas, which can result in a bloated or distended stomach.”

The Pet Poison Helpline shared Pippa’s story this holiday season to bring more awareness to the dangers of animals eating unbaked dough.

When Pippa arrived at Tennessee’s Animal Emergency and Specialty Center of Knoxville, she was suffering from an elevated heart rate and a distended stomach.

Dog owners are often not aware of the signs of gastric-dilatation volvulus (GDV) signs, which “include vomiting, non-productive retching, a distended stomach, an elevated heart rate, weakness, collapse, and death.”

Thankfully, the medical team performed a holiday miracle on Pippa, providing the pup with IV fluids and cold water to counteract the rising process.

Eventually, she passed the dough naturally, eliminating any surgical procedure.

“Luckily, it didn’t come to surgery,” Collins said. “It was a very expensive Thanksgiving Day at the dog ER, but she’s back to full health now.”

As pets sneak their way to the dinner tables, The Pet Food Institute also warns owners to avoid giving other table scraps to their four-legged friends, too. 

Certain human foods can be extremely harmful and toxic to animals, resulting in vomiting, anemia, irregular heart rhythm, seizures and worse.

Here are some of the foods that pets should not consume: 

  • Coffee grounds
  • Fatty foods
  • Chocolate
  • Avocado
  • Yeast dough
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Salt
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Alcohol

The institute encourages people to give pets treats and chews that are made specifically for dogs or cats as “a fun way to spoil your pet when provided responsibly.”

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