Question: I will be serving my dogs a turkey dinner for Thanksgiving. Are turkey and fixings OK to feed a dog? Also, does eating turkey have the same drowsiness effect on dogs that it does on humans? — Mary

Tryptophan is an amino acid found in turkey that is used in the biosynthesis of proteins. This amino acid is responsible for the drowsy affect people feel after eating turkey.

This does have the same effect on animals, and in fact, is used in many nutraceuticals calming supplements for dogs and horses. It is important to be aware that many of the foods we enjoy can cause harm to pets.

The drippings and skins from turkey, for example, can
 cause pancreatitis and gastrointestinal upsets. If you are unsure about a treat, contact your veterinarian before feeding it to a pet. — Dr. Lily Brown, Gruda Veterinary Hospital

Gruda Veterinary Hospital, established in 2001, is a full-service small-animal veterinary hospital in Santa Fe. Services include routine medical care, general surgery, dentistry, ultrasound, orthopedics, chiropractic and acupuncture, and the hospital is fully equipped with modern technology. Email your pet questions, along with your name and contact information, to

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