Thanksgiving is a time to say thanks for all that we love and have. This includes our faithful animal companions. While we enjoy gathering with our friends and family for a feast, we need to keep in mind the safety of our furry friends. Here are some Thanksgiving pet safety tips to keep in mind this holiday season.
Unattended Food and Drink
Even if you do not purposefully feed your pet human food, pets may jump on tables and take advantage of uncovered trash cans. Here are
some situations to anticipate:
- Guard beverages, especially those containing sugary drinks or alcohol.
- Clean up quickly. Unattended plates of food can be licked clean very quickly, giving your pet access to many dangerous foods.
- Dispose of meat bones where pets can’t get them. Bones may seem like a prize to your pet but they can cause lacerations or obstructions to your pet’s digestive system, which may require surgery.
- Secure garbage can lids. The trash not only contains dangerous foods but also containers and wrappers that can cause injury and damage if ingested.
- Keep pets away from counter tops and tables where they can gain quick access to hazardous foods.
- Secure pets in a safe room of the house where food does not present a danger.
Family and Guests
- Inform guests not to feed your pet any table food during the celebration. Keep a selection of pet-friendly treats available for guests to share instead.
- Prepare an enrichment toy (such as a Kong) to give your pet while the rest of the family is eating. Or, surprise your pet with a new toy to keep him/her occupied.
- Guard entrances so that pets do not escape when friends and family come and go.
- Extra friends and family in the home may cause pets to feel nervous and anxious. Make sure pets have a safe place to go such as a crate or spare bedroom.
Foods to Avoid
There are two groups of food to avoid feeding your pet. One is high-fat foods, which can cause pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) and affects both dogs and cats. The other food group is toxic foods, which require an immediate visit to a veterinarian.
- Buttery dishes
- Fried dishes
- Bread dough
- Raisins, grapes
- Xylitol (sugar substitute)
- Certain oils/spices (sage)
Let’s work together to make Thanksgiving a safe holiday for our pets. Make sure your pets are monitored and give a quiet place for them to relax, away from food and family activities. A few simple precautions can help ensure that everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!
For After-Hours Emergencies, or when our office is closed, please visit:
Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Tinton Falls
197 Hance Avenue
Tinton Falls, NJ 07724