Tips for keeping your pets safe on Thanksgiving

dog thanksgiving

With the holidays right around the corner, it is imperative that you keep your fur babies in mind when planning.

The day after holidays especially, Thanksgiving and Christmas are notorious for being busy days for emergency veterinarians. By following these simple tips you can avoid adding to that business.

Thanksgiving is a time for friends, family, and festivities but you won’t be very thankful if you have to spend the day in the emergency room with your pet! Some disasters can be easily avoided by following these tips

No table food

Refrain from feeding your pet table food and let any guests know not to do so as well.

If they must have a piece of turkey make sure it is a small boneless piece without skin. Turkey and chicken skin are the fattiest part of the birds and feeding fatty foods could cause acute pancreatitis which can be a serious life-long condition.

Don’t feed any bones, this can cause gastric upset, blockage, and possible puncture

If you want to make a special Thanksgiving dinner for your pet, boil the turkey beforehand and feed them when everyone else is eating. You can also include veggies, pumpkin, or a small amount of mashed potatoes without any seasonings like salt or garlic mixed into their regular food.

Also, watch out for possible raw food that may fall on the floor when cooking. Raw or undercooked food especially turkey or anything with eggs may contain salmonella. In addition, raw yeast bread dough can cause bloating and is a life-threatening emergency that usually requires hospitalization.

Dispose of turkey brine properly, if your pet gets a hold of it, it can result in salt toxicosis. Clinical signs of salt toxicosis are excessive thirst, vomiting, urination, and diarrhea.

Keep your pets preoccupied during mealtime by giving them a chew toy that will keep them busy, like a peanut butter-filled kong for dogs or a catnip-filled toy for cats.

For a more in-depth look at pancreatitis and keeping your pet safe during the holidays, check out my article: Pancreatitis in pets, getting through the holidays

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Table decorations

Usually, decorating the table comes along with Thanksgiving but be aware of these things

  • Low hanging tablecloths: if your dog is smart they will realize they only have to tug on it to bring food tumbling down
  • Flowers: some flowers are poisonous to pets so keep them away, for example, lilies can cause acute renal failure in cats and bittersweet vines can cause weakness, vomiting and seizures.
  • Candles: for obvious reasons, they are fire hazards
  • Pumpkins: While safe for dogs if eaten while fresh and in small quantities, pumpkins that have sat out for a while may cause upset stomach

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