Pancreatitis in Pets: Pet safety during the holidays

Our fur babies are a significant part of the family, so why wouldn’t we want them to take part in the holiday festivities like everyone…


Our fur babies are a significant part of the family, so why wouldn’t we want them to take part in the holiday festivities like everyone else?  A little treat here, a turkey bone there, what’s the harm?  While usually there is little to no harm, in some cases your pet may be faced with an unfortunate bout of pancreatitis.

There is nothing wrong with wanting your pet to enjoy and participate with the rest of the family, but it is extremely important to recognize that animals don’t digest some foods the same way we do.  While involving your pet in the holiday season can certainly be done safely; below I outline a couple of ways to make sure they stay out of harms way and any pancreatitis scares during the festivities.

Make sure your garbage is out of reach

This is quite obvious, but can be easily overlooked when there are ton of people in your home.  While making sure your pet isn’t able to get into the garbage is something most pet owners do regularly, it is ever more so important to do so during the holiday season.  With all of the food being prepped, cooked and tossed, as guest pile plates into the trash it can be easy to overlook the garbage reaching capacity.   This leaves an open for your pet to gobble up anything they can get their paws on which in some cases includes paper plates or tin foil just to get the contents inside.

Some ideas to ensure the garbage does not overflow or remains out of reach of your pet is to place a specific person on garbage duty.  This person can make sure to keep an eye on the increasing mound and remove it before it gets too full and is impossible to close.  Keeping your garbage behind closed doors is another great way to prevent any mishaps.  Also, make sure to toss as you go while cooking so there are no tasty meal prep items available to your pet.

Make sure your house guests know the importance of not giving your pet table food

If I have company over to eat at my home, I always make sure to inform them of the deleterious effects feeding my dogs table food can have on their health.  Everyone is well aware that my dogs do not get any scraps what so ever.  People often fall prey to the miserable house pet staring at them with sad puppy dog eyes as if they have never had a good meal in their lives and giving them that one sliver of turkey will make it all better.  Your guests may also feed their own pets table scraps and think that it is equally okay to feed them to yours.

This is exactly why making sure to voice the fact that feeding the wrong table scraps can severely harm or even kill your fur baby to everyone entering your home during the holiday season.  Putting up a sign is a great way to do this especially since you will probably be busy and may forget to inform some guest.  I made two great one’s for you to choose from, just download the attachments at the end of this post!

Pick up food immediately

Pets have a superpower and it’s sniffing out and gobbling up food that has fallen even before it touches the floor.  At least my two do!  You can’t be everywhere at once so enlist helpers to make sure the floors stay clear of foods that may harm your pets.  If you have children or visiting little one’s they are great at things like this.  Making it into a contest to see who can spot and get a scrap that may have fallen first is something that you can enlist young children to do while they have fun in the process.

Keep pets out of the kitchen

Some people don’t allow their pets to come into the kitchen at all, but the majority of us probably don’t place such limitations on our fur babies.  But if there are going to be a lot of cooks in your kitchen you may want to make the kitchen off limits.  So many things can happen, people bump into each other, things spill, and food falls onto the floor without anyone noticing.  It can make life a lot easier if you have this one less thing to worry about on the day.

Keep pets away from small children

My dogs don’t always play well with little children, except when there’s food around.  They know that they have a much higher chance at stealing or catching a morsel that makes its way to the floor with them than an adult.  So for this reason if it’s possible to keep them away from little one’s while they eat then definitely do so.

Keep decorative plants out of reach: 

With the holiday season usually comes decorations and trimmings in the form of plants or trees.  Christmas trees and plants like poinsettias and holly berry make their appearance in households world wide.  Keeping these plants out of your pets reach is essential, not only because chewing on them can cause some issues and substances that are toxic to animals can possibly trigger pancreatitis.

What are some ways that you ensure your pets remain safe and pancreatitis free during this holiday season?

Happy Holidays!