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Pet Thanksgiving Safety Tips for a Barkin’ Good Day

Keeping Your Pet Healthy and Happy this Thanksgiving

By Sora Wondra. October 10, 2013 | See Comments

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Pet Thanksgiving Safety Tips for a Barkin’ Good Day

Thanksgiving is always a fun time -- as well as a very hectic one. Here are a few ways you can make sure that your pet has a safe Thanksgiving while partaking in all of the fun that comes along with the holiday season.

Thanksgiving is great for spending extra time at home with your furry friends, but beware -- sometimes all the excitement and fatty foods can lead to a stomach ache. As you prepare for your Turkey Day feast, keep the following Thanksgiving safety tips in mind. You’ll be sure to have a happy holiday with your cat or dog.

Thanksgiving Foods Can Be Hazardous to Pets

Unfortunately, holiday foods are full of hidden dangers, and some are poisonous to cats and dogs. Foods like onion, garlic, grapes, xylitol sweetener, salt, chocolate, raw bread dough, and alcohol are all bad news for cats and dogs. Even if you avoid these foods, feeding lots of high-fat table scraps can lead to a stomach upset or vomiting. Turkey and chicken have other hidden risks, like the hollow bones that can splinter if eaten, and cause major damage.

It's better to save the good stuff for yourself and let your pet stick to their normal diet. Avoid sharing table scraps and never give your pet poultry bones. If you want to include your pet in the holiday meal, look for special pumpkin or sweet potato pet treats. Or instead of focusing on food, take the opportunity to go on a couple more walks while you're at home and make it a healthy holiday for your pet.

Managing Visitors and Potential Stress

This is the time of year to make sure your pet’s collar, with ID tag, is always on. Frequent visitors can be stressful for pets and the coming and going can lead to runaways. Make sure your cat or dog is secure when you answer the door and do some hand-smelling introductions to keep pets relaxed. It also helps if there's a back room or quiet space your pet can escape to if they're stressed. Be sure to remind your visitors you are a table-scraps-free house—no matter how cute your dog is when they beg.

Clean-up Care around the Trash

Garbage never smells as good as around Thanksgiving. At least, to your pets. Make sure that you secure all garbage after cleaning up to avoid your dog or cat getting into it. Spoiled food, or even food left out for a couple hours, can make your pet sick. Pets could also eat aluminum foil and wax paper if food is stuck on it, causing major problems and blockages. To stay safe, keep the lid on your trash can and your pet engaged elsewhere.

Toys to Entertain and Distract

Instead of feeding scraps, spoil your pet with a new toy—maybe even one that dispenses treats while they play with it! With a fun new distraction, your pet can stay occupied while you're entertaining guests. With some holiday pumpkin treats, a place to rest, and a new toy, your cat or dog will be plenty thankful, and won’t even miss the table scraps.

More on Pet Safety

Pet Safety and Household Cleaning Products
Your Pet Emergency Checklist
5 Tips for Dog Safety Around the House

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.

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Thanksgiving Safety at a glance

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  • 1Many Thanksgiving foods, like turkey bones, onions, chocolate, and bread dough can be dangerous to pets.
  • 2Give your cat or dog pumpkin flavored treats or a toy instead of table scraps.
  • 3Make sure your cat or dog can't get into the trash can.
  • 4Give them a quiet place to escape to if you're having a lot of visitors.