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Tips to keep your pet safe this Thanksgiving



Thanksgiving is right around the corner and with it comes a day filled with delicious meals shared with loved ones, including the furry kind.

With this in mind, Best Friends Animal Society, an animal welfare organization, has compiled a list of safety precautions to help pet owners keep their furry friends safe and happy this Thanksgiving.

  • Scrap Giving Scraps: Too much rich, fatty, or simply new foods can upset a pet’s stomach. Worse yet, they can even cause pancreatitis, which can turn life-threatening. Instead, try encourage guests to hand out tasty pet treats or a fun toy instead of their food scraps. 
  • Bad to the Bone: Never allow your dog or cats to gnaw on poultry bones since they can break up or splinter in a pet’s stomach and be deadly. Make sure to throw away bones in a closed trash can immediately.
  • Avoid a Dessert Disaster: Remember that chocolate is toxic for dogs and should be kept out of reach. However, it is not the only food that can be poisonous to dogs. Other dangerous foods include onions, raisins, and grapes — all which may be part of holiday dishes. This is why it is important to avoid feeding your pets holiday meal scraps.  
  • Keep it Clean: Pets are a curious bunch, and because of this, food-flavored items may be too tempting for them, prompting furry friends to eat things they shouldn’t, which can cause stomach injuries. Because of this, Best Friends Animal Society recommends making sure prep items are thrown out as soon as they are no longer needed. Additionally, other potentially harmful items should be kept on high surfaces and out of their reach.   

Aside from the above safety tips provided by the Best Friends Animal Society, the American Veterinary Medical Association makes additional recommendations, including:

  • Do not to feed pets yeast dough since it can cause health problems, such as painful gas and potentially dangerous bloating.
  • Do not feed your pets anything with the artificial sweetener xylitol, which is commonly used in gum and sugar-free baked goods, can be deadly if swallowed by dogs or cats.
  • Be careful with decorative plants since some (like amaryllis, baby’s breath, sweet William, some ferns, hydrangeas, and more) can be toxic to pets. For a list of harmful plants, the ASPCA has lists of plants that are toxic to dogs and cats. However, the safest thing a pet parent can do is simply keep pets away from all plants and table decorations.
  • If you believe your pet has been poisoned or has eaten something they shouldn’t have, immediately call your veterinarian or veterinary emergency clinic. You also can call the ASPCA Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) or the Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661). Sudden behavior changes, depression, discomfort, pain, vomiting, and/or diarrhea are some of the signs that something may be wrong with your furry friend.

Making sure your pets do not eat something harmful is not the only thing you should keep an eye out for during the holiday season to make sure your dog or cat is safe. If you are hosting or overnight visitors, being mindful of your pet’s stress level is also important since visitors can upset your pet.

  • Thanksgiving and the holidays often means many visitors at once and higher-than-usual noise and activity levels. This can upset your pet — a very common problem. If you know your dog or cat is nervous when people visit, according to the AVMA, pet parents should put them in another room or in a crate with their favorite toy to reduce the emotional stress on the pet and protect guests since any dog can potentially bite. According to the AVMA it is also a good idea that if your pet is particularly upset by visits, talk to your veterinarian about possible solutions.
  • Additionally, if any guests has a weakened immune system, make sure they are aware of pets in your home so they can take the necessary precautions.
  • Make sure to watch the exits because when people enter in and out of your home, your pet may take the opportunity get out.
  • Make sure your pet is microchipped with their identification and with your current contact information.
  • Watch your pets around festive decorations including candles.

Source: NBC New York

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