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.
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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.