Thanksgiving Pet Tips

It’s almost Thanksgiving, and for pet owners that means in addition to thinking about how we’ll handle our own excesses over the holiday we need to be aware of how our pets will deal with it, too. This can be a really hectic time, with more people in the house than usual, so it’s important to think about this stuff beforehand – that way you don’t end up cleaning up unexpected messes or emergency trips to the vet when you’d rather be sleeping off your oversized meal in front of the big-screen TV!

Here are some tips to make sure your Thanksgiving is pet safe.

1. Be careful about any turkey you give your pet

If you decide to give your pet a little bit of the big ol’ bird, make sure it is completely cooked and has no bones. Do not offer raw or undercooked turkey, which may contain salmonella. If your pet is on a diet or has food allergies, avoid giving any “people” food to him and keep him on his regular feeding schedule.

2. Know what’s not safe for your pet to eat

Just because it’s okay for you to eat doesn’t mean it’s okay for your pet. For instance, onions, garlic, sage, and grapes aren’t good for pets; uncooked bread dough can expand in the stomach and cause abdominal pain; and things like corn and bread are difficult for them to digest. Ask your vet for lists of what foods your pet can and can’t have, and when in doubt – don’t let them have it. If you feel bad about depriving them of a treat, have extra pet-friendly treats on hand.

3. Avoid giving out bones to your pet

Turkey bones may seem like the ideal dog treats, but those bones can break easily, which means they could be a choking hazard or even cause internal damage by cutting your pet’s stomach or intestines.

4. Take out the trash frequently

Determined pets can – and will – go digging through the trash to get hold of those yummy-tasting scraps, especially if you’re being careful about not giving them any. Take the trash out on a regular basis throughout the day, and make your in-kitchen garbage can difficult for them to access or get into.

5. Keep candles and pets away from each other

We often light candles at the Thanksgiving table, which may be one of only a few times each year that we have candles going. Pets are excited enough about all the heady food smells and extra company, so they’re even less likely to notice if (for example) their tail catches fire when they brush by a lit candle. Make sure you’ve extinguished candles when you’re leaving the table, and don’t leave lit candles unattended.

6. Be conscious of the issues when mixing guests with pets

Not everyone loves animals as much as we do, and some of your guests may not want to have a dog or cat roaming around the dining room during the Thanksgiving meal. Not only that, even if your pet isn’t a beggar, that won’t stop your cousin’s youngest kid from handing out scraps under the table (which may include things that are unsafe for your pet to eat). It’s probably best for everyone if pets are kept out of the dining room during the meal.

7. Consider keeping your pet in a separate part of the house for the whole day

It may not be enough to just keep your pet in another room during the meal – you might want to do that for the whole day. Your pets are likely to be more excitable during the holidays, so even if you’ve usually got an exceptionally well-behaved dog or cat he or she may not obey commands once the house is full of new people. If you can sequester your pet in another part of the house during the busy part of the day, that might be a good idea – especially if your pet tends to get stressed out with too much change. You might consider boarding your pet for the day, too – you’ll know what’s best for your pet.

8. Make sure your pet has proper identification

It may sound strange, but remember that anytime you’ve got a house full of guests that means the door is being opened numerous times – including times when you’re not paying attention. If your pet isn’t locked in a different part of the house when Uncle Carl steps outside to get something from the car (leaving the door open because it’s “just going to be a second”), you may not notice he or she is missing until much later. Making sure your pet has ID tags and is microchipped means a better chance you’ll get reunited quickly.

9. Have extra treats on hand for your pets

You’ll be focused on making sure you and your guests have a good time, but don’t forget your pets! Have some special pet-friendly treats on hand to let them know it’s a special day for them, too – dole them out throughout the day, or as a reward for good behavior at the end of a hectic Thanksgiving.

All of us at PetsWelcome hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

6 Thanksgiving Foods To Avoid Giving Your Pet

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. No matter how much your dog or cat begs for food, don’t let them have it.

Here’s a list of 6 foods to not give them

  1. Stuffing – thanksgiving stuffing is often made with salt, onions, garlic, and other ingredients. The ingredients can be toxic to pets and cause some problems like anemia. It’s best to avoid feeding any amount of breading or stuffing to your pet.
  2. Ham – ham and other pork products can cause problems like pancreatitis, vomiting, and is high in fat. If your pet is on a diet and needs to watch intake, ham is definitely something to avoid. Also, some hams are salted and can negatively affect your pet.
  3. Bones – turkey bones are not god for your dog to chomp on. Like chicken bones, they can splinter and cause damage to the stomach lining of your dog.
  4. Mashed potatoes – mashed potatoes can contain milk, butter, salt, garlic, and other ingredients that can cause diarrhea in pets.
  5. Grapes and Raisins – Fruit salads, some other dessert dishes, and breads may have grapes and raisins. Grapes can cause kidney failure which is fatal. Be careful of grapes and raisins around your pets.
  6. Chocolate – while it’s common to have pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, and other “fall” desserts, there is probably going to be chocolate. Chocolate is toxic and the darker the chocolate, the worse it is.

Play it safe, keep your pets out of the kitchen, and remind your guests to not give any table scraps to your pets!

Image from WHS4Pets.org

7 Thanksgiving Tips: Keep Your Furry Friends Safe

As we pet owners rush around this weekend for groceries for Thanksgiving, remember to take some extra precautions for our pets to keep them safe and healthy. Holidays are always hectic and things like loud noises, lots of people, and the extra stress you exude can affect your pet. There are also other things you need to be aware of when celebrating a holiday and preparing a big meal for family and friends. The following tips should help keep you from making an emergency trip the vet or taking Max for a few extra trips to the backyard due to an upset belly.

1: Keep your pets out of the kitchen as you prepare Thanksgiving dinner. They may try to eat something that could cause them to get ill or may get burned by touching a hot stove or knocking something off the counter.

2: If you are cooling something on the counter like a pie or your big turkey, keep an eye on the kitchen door. The temptation to jump a baby gate or sneak through an open space to get to the smell of food might be too great for some pets. Supervise your pet if she’s a foodie or if you can’t, set her up in a room with the door closed and plenty of water, some bedding, and a toy or activity to keep her occupied.

3: Bones from turkey are not safe for your pet. Do not give them as treats. The shards can break and cut their throat or stomach.

4: Remember to keep sweets out of paw’s reach as well as alcohol and certain other vegetables, fruits, and herbs.

5: If your pet does not usually receive table scraps, Thanksgiving is not the time to start. Remind your guests to not give your pet any food from their plates as this can greatly upset their stomach.

6: Keep your pet from digging in the trash by taking it out to the garbage cans frequently. Any trimmed fat, bones, or other discarded food can lead to indigestion, loose bowels, and vomiting.

7: If you burn candles, watch out for wagging tails and acrobatic cats! They can accidentally knock a candle over or singe their fur. Do not leave any candles burning in a room unsupervised.

If you want to give your pet a treat for Thanksgiving, give them a new toy or a special treat. Even an extra long romp in the dog park or some extra play time can make your pet happy. They’ll stay healthy, won’t feel neglected, and will also have a good Thanksgiving!