Many Americans plan to celebrate Thanksgiving with loved ones, and a number of them may be tempted to share part of their dinner with their four-legged family members. But a festive time for you could turn out to be a stressful or dangerous time for your pets. Here are a few tips to help keep your pets safe and happy this Thanksgiving.
Limit table scraps. While it’s typically best to forgo feeding table scraps to your dog or cat, many pet owners have a tough time resisting those sweet, begging, puppy-dog eyes. If you’re one of them, remember this:
- Unless your turkey is boneless, skinless, and cooked in nothing but water, avoid feeding it to your pets from the table. Turkey and turkey skin can cause pancreatitis in pets, which can be life-threatening.
- Your pet should never consume alcohol. And, be aware of unexpected dishes that might contain it, like fruitcake.
- Stay away from grapes and raisins, which can cause kidney failure in dogs.
- Potatoes are a healthy and nutritious vegetable for humans and pets alike. But, when mashed with butter, sour cream, cheese, onions, garlic, or gravy, they’re not a safe option for your pet (and you should probably enjoy it in moderation, too). Similarly, most veggies that are healthy on their own (think green beans, carrots, and more) can be enjoyed without all the extra ingredients often found in their holiday casseroles.
- Say “no” to artificial sweeteners, which can be toxic to pets.
- Chocolate and other desserts are for you and your human buddies only. But, you knew that already, didn’t you?
Limit visitors. Or, at least be aware of your pet’s stress levels when visitors come ringing your doorbell. Some pets become anxious or stressed when unfamiliar people seemingly invade their space. Others might even try to flee out the front door when unsuspecting visitors open it. Keep these tips in mind:
- Put pets that don’t like visitors or unfamiliar sights and sounds in a closed bedroom or basement, away from the holiday shenanigans, with a plug-in pheromone diffuser and calming music.
- Be sure all your pets are microchipped and wearing identification collars. Ensure your microchips are registered and up to date.
If you have questions or concerns about keeping your pet safe this holiday season, please contact us. Happy Thanksgiving!