Safety Tips for your Pets during Thanksgiving

Safety Tips for your Pets during Thanksgiving

thanksgiving pet tips

Thanksgiving Day may be one of your favorite holidays, but Turkey Day can be dangerous for your pets. Check out the following tips for a fulfilling Thanksgiving and to ensure that your furry friends don’t suffer a Thanksgiving emergency.

Limit Special Treats

It’s best to stick to your pet’s usual diet on Thanksgiving. Although a tiny taste of cooked turkey probably won’t bother your pet, eating some traditional Thanksgiving foods may make your pet sick. Stuffing and other foods that contain onions or garlic can cause anemia in cats and dogs, while grapes and raisins may cause kidney failure. Even powdered onions or garlic can pose a problem. Mashed potatoes may also cause a problem. The milk or sour cream used to make the dish could trigger a bout of messy, uncomfortable diarrhea for your lactose intolerant pet. Don’t turn your back on your raw turkey while you prepare Thanksgiving dinner. In just a few seconds, your dog or cat can jump up on the counter and take a bite or lick of the bird. Eating or licking raw meat increases your pet’s risk of developing salmonella or bacterial infections. Turkey skin, whether cooked or uncooked, can also sicken your pet. The American Veterinary Medical Association notes that even eating fatty turkey skin can cause life-threatening pancreatitis. Don’t let your pet gnaw on turkey bones either. The bones can become stuck in your pet’s throat and may splinter easily, causing painful cuts.

Other foods to avoid include:

  • Chocolate
  • Yeast
  • Scallions
  • Foods that contain the sweetener xylitol
  • Raw eggs

Put Decorations Out of Reach

It’s only natural for pets to be interested in the decorations that suddenly appear around Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, an inquisitive cat can knock over a lit candle, or a curious dog can eat non-edible parts of decorations quicker than you can say “leave it”. Place decorations in high places that aren’t accessible to your pet, and remove centerpieces as soon as your meal is over.

Secure your home

With family and friends coming and going over the Thanksgiving holiday, make sure that your cat or dog doesn’t find their way out any open door and get lost. Setting up gates can help keep your dog away from the front door when guests come and go (as well as prevent the chaos of a jumping or barking dog at the door) or keep them on 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.

Travel Concerns

Whether you take your pets with you or leave them behind, take these precautions to safeguard them when traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday or at any other time of the year.

Talk with your veterinarian if you’re traveling by air and considering bringing your pet with you. Your veterinarian is the best person to advise you regarding your own pet’s ability to travel.

If you’re going to travel together, Your pet needs a health certificate.if you’re traveling across state lines or international borders, whether by air or car. Learn the requirements for any states you will visit or pass through, and schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to get the needed certificate within the timeframes required by those states.  In addition to your pet’s food and medications, this includes bringing medical records, information to help identify your pet if it becomes lost, first aid supplies, and other items. Never leave pets alone in vehicles, even for a short time, regardless of the weather. Pets should always be safely restrained in vehicles. This means using a secure harness or a carrier, placed in a location clear of airbags. This helps protect your pets if you brake or swerve suddenly, or get in an accident; keeps them away from potentially poisonous food or other items you are transporting; prevents them from causing dangerous distractions for the driver; and can prevent small animals from getting trapped in small spaces. Never transport your pet in the bed of a truck.

Are you considering boarding your dog while you travel?

Talk with your veterinarian to find out how best to protect your pet from Bordetella, Canine Influenza, and other contagious diseases, and to make sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccines.

Keep current ID on your pets

Pets can get lost at any time but chances increase when you have guests entering/exiting your home or when you’re traveling with your pet. Always make sure your pet is wearing ID tags with the accurate information. Invest in microchipping your pets too! If your pet is already microchipped, make sure it’s activated and the information is up-to-date.

By practicing these Thanksgiving pet safety tips, you and your pet can enjoy a safe and happy holiday.

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Shallowford Animal Hospital and The Pet Spa at Shallowford are dedicated to the exceptional, compassionate care your pet deserves. Pets hold a very special place in our families, and we treat yours like our own.