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.

Adopt A Turkey, Don’t Eat One!

November is Adopt-A-Turkey month, and rightly so. Close to 50 million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving in the U.S.

The nation’s leading farm animal protection organization, Farm Sanctuary, is asking that compassionate consumers adopt a turkey this year in one of two ways:

(1) Sponsor “adopt” a turkey living at Farm Sanctuary’s Watkins Glen, New York, or Orland, California, shelters. For a one-time adoption fee of $20, sponsors receive a color photograph of their turkey, an adoption certificate and a year subscription to Farm Sanctuary’s quarterly newsletter. This sponsorship provides funds for feed, bedding and veterinary care for the turkeys and helps Farm Sanctuary encourage millions of people to celebrate a compassionate Thanksgiving for all.

(2) Home adopt and provide a safe, loving and permanent home for two or more turkeys. Individuals interested in adopting turkeys as companions must complete an adoption application. If approved, adopters will be placed on Farm Sanctuary’s Turkey Express schedule.

Every year, nearly 300 million turkeys are raised and slaughtered in the United States – 45 million alone for Thanksgiving. Most are slaughtered at only five months old, when male turkeys (toms) weigh a massive 25 to 32 pounds and females weigh 15 to 18 pounds. To meet consumer demand for white meat, commercial turkeys have been bred to have abnormally large breasts. As a result, the birds can not reproduce naturally, and the industry now relies on forced artificial insemination as the sole means of reproduction. In addition, most factory-farmed turkeys, comprising the vast majority of turkeys raised for holiday dinners, have their beaks and toes amputated, because they are allotted only three square-feet to live out their lives.

You can visit the Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-A-Turkey Project Click WEBSITEto learn more about sponsoring or adopting a turkey, see photos of rescued turkeys living at the sanctuary, read Alicia Silverstone’s secrets to a humane holiday, find cruelty-free holiday recipes, take a glimpse inside a turkey breeding facility, and learn how to take action against the inhumane treatment of turkeys.

Remember, even if you are going to eat a turkey this holiday season, you can still sponsor a turkey. In fact, I would feel more compelled to sponsor a turkey if I knew I was also going to be eating one.