Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Pets

Thanksgiving is a special time for family and friends.  For many, it is the starting point of the holiday season which continues until after the New Year.  But, as with many holiday celebrations, it can pose extra risks for our pets.  Here are some tips to help ensure your pets have a happy holiday too.

  • Make sure family members and guests are keenly aware of the various health concerns you have for your pet.  Holiday foods can pose many risks for your pet.  This includes leftovers too. 
  • While many people feel they are being “nice” and must “give in” to a pet that is begging for a food item, this can create many problems for you and your pet.  So, advise everyone to not feed or give your pet any item without your approval! 
  • Many of our favorite holiday foods are excessively fatty, spicy, greasy, or just novel to a pet’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract.  Items such as poultry bones, ham, prime rib, casseroles, and other holiday foods can easily wreak havoc on a pet’s GI tract.  This can lead to such problems as vomiting, diarrhea, pancreatitis, flatulence, obstructions, perforations, and colitis.
  • As with other holidays like Halloween or Valentine’s Day, chocolates and other dessert items can be of major concern too.  Depending on the type and amount of chocolate a pet ingests, it can be toxic and even kill your pet if eaten in sufficient quantities.  This is especially true for Baker’s chocolate.
  • As a further example, more recent information has shown that for some dogs, grapes and raisins can be toxic.  Yet, for other dogs, no harm results.  The exact mechanism is still not fully known, but fatal kidney issues can occur.
  • Another harmful item is alcohol.  Make sure unattended drinks are kept away from a pet’s access.  Some guests think it is cute to allow a pet to drink alcohol.  If ingested, alcohol can cause your pet to become extremely ill and even lead to coma and death.  So, make sure pets have no access to these libations.
  • Besides the various food items themselves, make sure pets do not eat items such as aluminum foil, cellophane, and strings.  Many pets are enticed by these items due to the foods that were contained and wrapped by them.  So, as always, make sure pets have no access to these items whether they are on counter tops or in the garbage.  Keep pets out of the garbage at all times!
  • Make sure guests and family members do not leave doors and windows open whereby a pet could escape.
  • Make sure pets do not get into any decorations or other holiday displays.
In summary, holidays are a special and wonderful time of year.  Yet, if pets are around, for their safety and your peace of mind, it is important to be keenly aware of where they are and what they could have access too.  In some situations, where pets and people can’t be monitored completely, it may be better to separate (keep) your pet away from the holiday festivities totally.

If you have any questions pertaining to this information or to any aspect of your pet’s health care, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ASK US.