For most Americans, Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on our lives, surrounded by friends and family, and to give thanks for everything we hold dear. It is easy to forget that the holiday could be hazardous to your pets.
Fortunately, the risks that Thanksgiving presents for pets are easily mitigated by a little preventative preparation and some extra attention on the day itself.
Foods that Present Safety Risks for Pets during Thanksgiving
Keep an extra eye on your guests to ensure that they are not slipping pets turkey fat on the down low. Too many fatty or unfamiliar foods can cause your dog to have an upset stomach or, worse, induce pancreatitis or gastroenteritis, both of which can be serious if left untreated.
Although humans love them, onions can be a health hazard for pets. In addition to causing an upset stomach, onions can affect an animal’s red blood cells, causing anemia and related issues.
Theobromine in chocolate (especially dark chocolate) is poisonous to dogs and cats so should be kept far out of the pet’s reach.
Although they are delicious to us, grapes and raisins both contain a component that can result in kidney damage in cats and dogs. With stuffing in mind, as well as snacks before the main meal, keep these delicious fruits out of pets’ reach on Thanksgiving Day.
One of the biggest no-no’s of Thanksgiving is allowing animals to chew on turkey bones. Chicken and turkey bones can shatter or splinter in your dog’s esophagus, causing choking or severe lacerations. Don’t let him grab any from the plate, the floor, or the trash.
In the days surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday, many trash cans become too good for cats and dogs to resist. In order to prevent your pet from turning the trashcan into a smorgasbord, place it in a spot where the pet cannot reach it.
In addition to protecting your pet from potentially harmful foods, it is also wise to ensure your pet does not have access to any tasty food wrappings that he or she might be tempted to ingest. Things like aluminum foil and saran wrap can wreak havoc on an animal’s digestive system. Additionally, pets should have ample access to clean, fresh water and should stay on their typical exercise routine, despite the hustle and bustle of the holiday.
Thanksgiving is a special, meaningful holiday that is enjoyed by families across the country. With the help of these safety tips, your pets can participate in the festivities while also staying safe, healthy and happy.