According to just about any poll you reference, a large percentage of Americans plan to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family, and many also admit to sharing their Thanksgiving dinner with their four-legged family members. But a festive time for you could be a stressful or dangerous time for your pets. Here are a few tips to help keep your pets safe and happy this Thanksgiving.
Be Aware of Visitors
Be aware of your pet’s stress levels when visitors come ringing your doorbell. Some pets become anxious or stressed when unfamiliar people seemingly invade their space. Others might even try to flee out the front door when unsuspecting visitors open it. Keep these tips in mind:
Be sure all your pets are microchipped and wearing identification collars. And, ensure your microchips are registered and up to date.
Put pets that don’t like visitors or unfamiliar sights and sounds in a closed bedroom or basement, away from the holiday shenanigans, with a plug-in pheromone diffuser and calming music.
Limit Table Scraps
While it’s typically best to forgo feeding table scraps to your dog or cat, many pet owners have a tough time resisting those sweet, begging, puppy-dog eyes. If you’re one of them, remember this:
– Unless your turkey is boneless, skinless, and cooked in nothing but water, avoid feeding it to your pets from the table. Turkey and turkey skin can cause pancreatitis in pets, which can be life-threatening.
– Potatoes are a healthy and nutritious vegetable for humans and pets alike. But, when mashed with butter, sour cream, cheese, onions, garlic, or gravy, they’re not a safe option for your pet (and you should probably enjoy in moderation, too). Similarly, most veggies that are healthy on their own (think green beans, carrots, and more) can be enjoyed without all the extra ingredients often found in their holiday casseroles.
– Stay away from grapes and raisins, which can cause kidney failure in dogs.
– Say “no” to artificial sweeteners, which can be toxic to pets.
– Chocolate and other desserts are for you and your human buddies only. But, you knew that already, didn’t you?
– Your pet should never consume alcohol. And, be aware of unexpected dishes that might contain it, like fruitcake.
Give Pets Space
Ever had grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in one place at one time? Would you have given anything to escape to a quiet spot where no one could find you? That’s how many pets feel with the commotion of holiday visitors and the changes in normal daily routines. Before the extended family and friends arrive, provide your pet with a place all her own, where visitors can’t disturb her. Find a quiet bedroom or walk-in closet and put a few of her favorite things there.
Keeping your pets comfortable and away from foods they should not eat this holiday season, will help your pet to have a happy and safe holiday.
Call our office if you have questions about keeping your pet safe this holiday season.