Keep your furry friends safe this Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to gather with family. For many of us, pets are part of our family and we want them to share in the festivties; however, Thanksgiving can pose some extra risks to our furry and feathered companions. Here are some helpful tips to ensure that both you and your animal friends have a fun, happy Thanksgiving.

  • Thanksgiving meals often occur earlier in the day. If it is close enough to your pet’s normal feeding time, feed him/her their normal meal before guests arrive. If guests will be arriving too early, feed your pet at his/her normal feeding time. Animals do better with a routine and this will also help cut back on their begging or stealing.
  • If you are going to share some of your holiday meal with your dog or cat, give them a small portion of plain turkey. Ensure there are NO BONES. Bones can cause choking and/or splinter and injure your pet, and/or get lodged in her or her stomach/intestines. Rich, fatty foods such as turkey skin, ham, mashed potatoes, butter, and gravy can upset your pet’s stomach. Bread can cause discomfort and bloat. Onions and garlic are poisonous to dogs.
  • Do not feed your animal chocolate; it can be fatal. Sugar and sweets are also unhealthy, as they can cause kidney failure in dogs and are difficult for animals to digest. Ensure that all sweets are out of your animal’s reach.
  • Make sure all aluminum foil, plastic wrap, wax paper, toothpicks, skewers, and string. Animals like to play with these materials, especially when covered with food, but they pose fatal risks. Also, cover or enclose your trashcan well. Cats and dogs can be notorious food hounds and you wouldn’t want them finding a turkey bone in the trash and choking on it.
  • Inform your guests. Ask them to not feed the animals table scraps. Also, notify them about whether or not your animal is allowed outside. Make sure they know to close to door behind themselves.
  • It is a good idea to not allow your cats outside on Thanksgiving, even if you allow them out at other times. One reason is because many people have guests over, meaning there are a lot of cars coming and going. This puts your cat in extra danger of being hit. Also, during winter cats like to crawl up inside cars or tire wells, which can often be fatal. (It is best to keep cats indoors all winter for this reason.)
  • If applicable, ensure your pet has current ID tags incase they slip out the door.
  • Give your pet a chance to relax away from guests. Put them in another room where they can de-stress and take a nap. A walk with you canine buddy is also a good idea. Animals can become overly excited or even stressed out with all the guests and commotion.
  • Do not forget about your pet’s needs. It is easy to get caught up in the festivities and guests, but make sure to check on your pet, give him/her attention, and ensure they have fresh clean water.
  • If you’re traveling, don’t wait until the last minute to make arrangements for your pet. If you are leaving your pet at home, make sure you have a pet sitter or a reservation at a boarding facility/your vet lined up. If travelling with your pet, do not wait until the last minute to pack all of your pet’s necessities. Write a list and double check it.
  • Do not take dogs to Thanksgiving Day parades. The crowds can be overwhelming for dogs and cause them to panic or stress out. This increases their chances of accidentally getting lost in the crowd.
Information from HERE and HERE.
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