Five Tips for a Safe Thanksgiving with Pets

Thanksgiving is a holiday focused on rest, food, and, most importantly, family. Of course, some of our favorite family members include our furry ones, and while it’s tempting to have our pets in on the family feast, many aspects of Thanksgiving can put our pets in danger.

Read up on these tips to keep your pets safe this Thanksgiving.

Keep them safe from toxic food. 

It may be tempting for you and your guests to sneak the family pet a taste of the scrumptious Thanksgiving meal, especially when you get those adorably pleading eyes. However, many typical Thanksgiving dishes are full of toxic ingredients that can cause pet’s major digestive trouble, or even worse.

According to the ASPCA, it’s essential to keep your pet away from these festive yet dangerous foods:

  • Unbaked dough containing yeast – Don’t ruin your pet’s holiday by giving him access to raw yeast bread dough. When a dog or cat ingests raw bread dough, the yeast continues to convert the sugars in the dough to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol. This can result in bloated pets, which could become a dire emergency requiring hospitalization.
  • Garlic, onion, and chives – These seasonings are common in many Thanksgiving dishes and are toxic to dogs and cats – they can destroy their red blood cells. Avoid giving your pet a bite of anything cooked with these ingredients.
  • Turkey – Avoid giving your pet turkey meat, especially fatty dark meat and skin, and never give them any leftover bones. Not only are bones a choking hazard, but they can splinter inside your pet’s digestive tract and cause a trip to the emergency vet.
  • Desserts – Desserts like cookies, cakes, and pies should be kept out of your pet’s reach. Most know that chocolate is toxic for animals, but so are raisins, currants, and the popular sugar-substitute xylitol. If you plan to bake Thanksgiving desserts, be sure your pets keep their noses away from the batter, especially if it includes raw eggs.

In addition to not feeding your pets any of dinner, ensure they don’t decide to dive into the trash searching for yummy scraps. Make sure your trash is secure and talk to your guests about not feeding your pets.

Be careful with decorative plants.

Don’t forget that some flowers and festive plants can be toxic to pets. These include:

  • Amaryllis
  • Baby’s Breath
  • Some ferns
  • Poinsettias and more

The ASPCA offers lists of toxic plants to both dogs and cats, but the safest route is simply to keep your pets away from all plants and table decorations.

Make sure your home is secure. 

With family and friends coming and going over Thanksgiving weekend, there will be a lot of hustle and bustle. Ensure that your cat or dog doesn’t find their way out of any open doors and get lost.

Setting up gates can help keep your dog away from the front door when guests come and go or keep them on a leash to prevent any door dashing. Keep your cat in a separate room with the door closed, so they don’t escape into the great outdoors.

[Need more tips about keeping your pets safe this holiday season? Click here!]

Keep pets away from guests’ bags. 

Along with houseguests comes everything they bring along; things like handbags, coat pockets, backpacks, or suitcases can contain possible hazards for your pets if they stick their noses where they don’t belong.

Items like sugar-free gum, candy bars, and medications can really put a damper on your holiday plans if found by a wandering nose. Have your guests hang their bags on hooks and keep the guest room door closed to protect your pets.

Be prepared. 

No matter how much you plan, mishaps can happen – especially during the holidays. It’s a good idea to ask your veterinarian about their holiday hours ahead of time and add the telephone numbers for an emergency veterinarian clinic to your contacts just in case.

Keep a pet first-aid kit close by and remember that the best thing you can do is stay calm in the event of an emergency.

Be sure to visit our informative news page for more tips and helpful advice to help you and your pets stay safe all year long. For more information and guidance on keeping your pets safe this holiday season, make an appointment with the staff at College Road Animal Hospital today.