Thanksgiving is a special holiday when family and friends come together to express gratitude for their many blessings. It may be the only time you see some relatives all year. While excitement surrounding the holiday is understandable, pet owners sometimes overlook seasonal safety hazards with everything else that is going on around them. By taking the time to review some important safety tips now, you can avoid accidental food poisoning, injuries, and other types of illnesses.
Keep Your Pet’s Routine as Normal as Possible
One thing we love about the holidays is that it gets us out of our normal routines. Besides getting time off work, many people enjoy decorating the house, baking, spending time with distant loved ones, and other traditions of the season. However, dogs and cats thrive on routine. They don’t understand why things are different and may display signs of stress because of it.
We encourage you to keep your pet’s diet and exercise schedule the same over Thanksgiving and the holidays to come. Minimizing disruption to her routine is the best way to ensure her health during the holidays and into the next year. It’s also helpful to set up a quiet place in your home for your pet to retreat when the excitement of the season gets to be too much for her.
Food to Avoid Sharing with Your Pet
Pet owners enjoy making their dog or cat happy and one way they try to do that is by sharing their own food with them. Unfortunately, their digestive systems can’t handle many of the foods we don’t think twice about eating. Even if your dog or cat gives you sad eyes and begs like crazy, avoiding giving him any of these foods:
- Fatty Foods: Human foods with high fat content can cause your pet to develop gastroenteritis or pancreatitis, two painful digestive conditions that can become life-threatening if not treated promptly.
- Chocolate: It’s hard to believe about this sweet treat, but it’s one of the most toxic things a dog or cat can consume.
- Turkey Bones: The leftover bones from a turkey carcass can contain tiny bones that your dog could choke on. Play it safe by purchasing your dog’s chewing bones from a pet store.
- Grapes and Raisins: Not only does their small size make them a choking hazard for pets, these foods contain a toxin that can cause long-term kidney damage in dogs and cats.
- Onions and Onion Powder: These often show up in stuffing or may be used as a general seasoning. Both can damage your pet’s red blood cells and eventually cause anemia.
Additionally, be extra vigilant about food wrappers that may have fallen to the floor. Your pet may be attracted to the smell and try to eat wax paper, aluminum foil, or something else that could cause extensive internal damage. The same holds true for the garbage can. If you think your pet will try to get into it, take it outside or keep it in a locked cabinet.
Handling Holiday Emergencies
Despite your best efforts, a persistent dog or cat may still get into something that makes her ill or sustain an injury over Thanksgiving. Since Chaska Valley Veterinary Clinic will be closed, please contact the Eden Prairie location of the Affiliated Emergency Veterinary Service at 952-942-8272 or the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680. We hope your entire family has a safe and happy holiday.
Photo Credit: Jason Ondreicka / Getty Imagespet health