It’s Time For Turkey, And Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips

A brown and white dog sitting at the dinner table

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, a fact that has most Americans jumping for joy. Friends, family, and holiday feasts are great fun for us, but Thanksgiving poses some risks to pet safety that we all need to be aware of. 

To avoid a trip to the animal emergency clinic this Thanksgiving, Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital has gathered our best Thanksgiving pet safety tips to keep your pets healthy and well all season long.

Let’s Talk Turkey…

Thanksgiving is centered around food, and it’s tough to resist those puppy dog eyes, we know. But allowing your pet to partake in the holiday spread is not only unhealthy, it can be dangerous. Pets don’t digest high fat or salty foods well, and the results of indulgence can be a painful and potentially life threatening condition called pancreatitis

Here are some foods to avoid for pets that are common on the holiday table.

  • Turkey bones, skin, or fatty parts
  • Gravy
  • Casseroles or rich foods
  • Uncooked poultry or meat
  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol sweetened desserts
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Chives, onions, and garlic
  • Raw bread dough

As well, leftovers should be cleared immediately or kept behind closed doors, and ensure garbage bins and kitchen trash are lidded securely. Getting into thanksgiving garbage or leftovers is a common cause of GI upset, vomiting, diarrhea, intestinal blockage, or pancreatitis. 

Dangerous Decor

Holiday plants such as hydrangea, holly, cyclamen, amaryllis, and others can be toxic to pets. Check the ASPCA guide to toxic plants for dogs and cats, but better yet, keep pets away from all household greenery. 

Candles, electric string lights, and other burn hazards should be strictly monitored. Essential oils and potpourri should also be kept out of pets’ reach. 

If you feel your pet has ingested something toxic, please call us right away or bring your pet in for emergency service

Pets, Parties, and Anxiety

Spending time with visiting friends and relatives may be one of the best parts of Thanksgiving. But for pets, a household of unfamiliar people and a change in her normal daily routine may be stressful

Try to keep her schedule of feeding, walks, and social time with you as stable as possible. Make sure your pet gets plenty of attention from you, and exercise to stave off boredom and destructive behaviors. 

Consider giving her a safe spot away from noise and commotion with her bed, food and water, toys, and a white noise machine. Check on her often and offer lots of praise and positive reinforcement. A few hours away can do wonders for a pet who is stressed by people in the house. 

Thanksgiving Pet Safety and Travel

If you plan to travel this Thanksgiving, preparation is key. Here are some tips for traveling with pets over the holiday. 

  • If traveling by air, research airline regulations early
  • If crossing state lines or traveling internationally, contact us to schedule an appointment for your pet’s required health certificate
  • If traveling by car, practice safe pet restraint
  • Never leave a pet alone in a car
  • Interview and book pet sitters early
  • For pets with medical needs, reserve your pet’s spot at our medical boarding facility

Be sure you pack for your pets, as well as yourself. Include a bed, food and water dishes, medications, collar and ID tags, leashes, litter (for cats), and any treats and toys they love. Don’t forget medical records, a recent photo, and a pet first aid kit, too. 

With a little preparation, Thanksgiving can be as nice for your pets as it is for you. If you need more help with Thanksgiving pet safety, please give us a call