Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips

Thanksgiving is such a marvelous and meaningful holiday. Families and friends excitedly gather to share their gratitude for all they are so fortunate to have. Cooks, keeping their ovens busy, are working overtime while delicious holiday aromas fill the air.

During this celebration time with family and food people tend to become overly generous to their pets. This means that we have the urge to give dogs and cats a lot of table food scraps, however too many treats can lead to injury or illness for our pets.

The Central California SPCA offers these important tips to keep your pets healthy, safe and the entire family happy for Thanksgiving:

  • Fatty Foods – Too many fatty, rich, or unfamiliar foods can give your pet pancreatitis or gastroenteritis; two medical conditions that can be very painful and even life-threatening.
  • Diet and Exercise – Maintain your pet’s regular meal and exercise schedule and avoid feeding them any holiday leftovers. A disruption in his dietary routine can cause stomach upset, diarrhea and/or vomiting.
  • Healthy Treat Alternative – Pour on a bit of pet gravy to make their regular meal special, this way you give your pet a treat and make it feel like you’re sharing the feast with them but also won’t upset their stomach.
  • Bones – Make no bones about it. Certain bones can lacerate or obstruct your pets’ insides. Save the bones for the broth – not your dog.
  • Onions and Sage – Onions and onion powder, widely found in stuffing and used as a general seasoning, will destroy your dog or cat’s red blood cells, which can lead to anemia. Sage and some other herbs have essential oils that can cause upset stomachs and central nervous system depression if a dog eats them in large quantities. Most pets aren’t going to nosh on a fistful of sage, but keep herbs out of reach just in case. Stuffing usually contains many ingredients toxic to animals.
  • Bread and Rolls – Make sure to let dough rise in the microwave or oven, out of your pet’s reach. The yeast can ferment in his stomach and cause serious problems, such as alcohol poisoning. Ice water can help deactivate the yeast while you get him to the vet.
  • Grapes and Raisins – Grapes and raisins contain a toxin that can cause kidney damage to both dogs and cats.
  • Chocolate – Chocolate can actually be fatal to your dog or cat so all those sweets must be kept well out of reach. Watch for animals snitching while you are concentrating on baking.
  • Food Wrappings and Strings – Aluminum foil, wax paper and other food wrappings can cause intestinal obstruction. Make sure to place these items securely in the garbage. Baking strings, if ingested, can create trouble if ingested by your pet.
  • Caffeine and alcohol – Avoid yappy-hour! Some cats and dogs seem to enjoy alcoholic drinks. Animals and booze are a bad mix. Your pet may not do anything embarrassing she’ll regret in the morning, but she could become disoriented and quite ill so keep an eye on where everyone puts their drinks.
  • Fresh Water – Make sure your pet always has fresh water. When there are more people in the house, there’s more chance to bump into the water bowl leaving your pet dry.
  • Quiet Time – Make sure your pet has a quiet retreat should the holiday festivities be too much for him. Watch her behavior to make sure she is not stressed.
  • Garbage – Keep an eye on the garbage and keep it securely fastened! If your pet gets into it, he may think he’s hit the jackpot, but all he’ll be winning is health problems from something as simple as gastric disturbance, vomiting and diarrhea to the worst-case scenario – death