Grateful: Keeping Your Pet Safe This Thanksgiving

As you count your blessings this Thanksgiving, your furry pal likely tops the list. Grateful for the companionship your wonderful pet provides, you do everything to ensure they enjoy the holiday without incident. Before the big day arrives, follow our Animal Hospital of Parkland team’s Thanksgiving game plan to include your pet in the festivities, and learn how to do so safely.

Grateful for a pet-friendly menu

A serious Thanksgiving hazard is the menu packed with rich foods that can be toxic or hazardous to your pet. To keep your pet from drooling over your plate, you can offer them a safe plate of their own by making the following tweaks: 

  • Turkey — Your Thanksgiving feast’s main attraction, turkey is also one of the most hazardous to your pet. Bones, cooked or not, can easily splinter and lodge in your pet’s gastrointestinal tract. In addition to being high in fat and a pancreatitis trigger, well-seasoned turkey skin can contain toxic ingredients such as garlic and onion. Put aside the juicy turkey leg for your Great Uncle Al, and offer your great furry pal a few bites of well-cooked, unseasoned, boneless, skinless breast meat. 
  • Mashed potatoes — Rich, buttery mashed potatoes under a gravy lake is a mouthwatering side dish that can seriously inflame your pet’s pancreas and upset their stomach. Added garlic or chives can destroy your pet’s red blood cells and cause anemia. Give your pet plain mashed sweet potatoes, with no marshmallow or pecan topping.
  • Stuffing — Stuffing is, well, stuffed with all sorts of tantalizing ingredients. Unfortunately, nuts, currants, and onions all pose a threat to your pet’s health. Ditch the stuffing when plating up your pet’s meal, and give them a safe side item such as unseasoned green beans or carrots.
  • Dessert — Although humans always seem to have room for dessert, most—if not all—desserts are unsafe for pets. After-dinner treats usually contain chocolate, nuts, raisins, currants, large amounts of sugar and fat, or xylitola popular sugar substitute—that is highly toxic to pets. Save the pies and cakes for the humans, and offer your pet safe fruits like apples, bananas, berries, and melon.

Grateful for guests who help keep your pet safe

Thanksgiving is for spending time with family and friends, but a house full of guests can unsettle your pet. Ensure your furry pal has a quiet place to get away from shrieking children and overly friendly adults. To make gatherings enjoyable—and safe—for everyone, instruct your guests to refrain from cornering your pet, to allow your pet to approach them when your furry pal is ready, and to end the interaction and allow your pet to leave when they are ready. To help your pet feel safe and secure, create a private sanctuary that is off limits to your guests. When your pet is in their haven, guests must not bother your furry pal. Make your pet’s special space—or a secluded hideaway for cats—more appealing by providing a soft bed and a long-lasting treat or food puzzle. If you know your pet is anxious around large crowds, create a calming atmosphere by diffusing soothing pheromones in their sanctuary a week before guests arrive for the Thanksgiving festivities. 

Grateful for pet-safe Thanksgiving decor

Autumn brings a bounty of beautiful blooms that make for a gorgeous table centerpiece and porch display. However, if your pet ingests many of these plants, they can become dangerously ill. To prevent your pet’s accidental ingestion of colorful ornamental corn, cornstalks, chrysanthemums, lilies, autumn crocuses, or rotting pumpkins and squash, allow your furry pal to view decorative displays from a distance, such as from behind a baby gate. A good alternative is to swap out toxic plants for pet-safe alternatives, such as asters, pansies, and Russian sage.

Grateful for pet-safety items

Thanksgiving can pose quite a few hazards to cats and dogs, and pet owners are particularly grateful for items that keep their four-legged companions safe. Some items that can help prevent a turkey day catastrophe include:

  • A locking trash can — Food scraps, wrappers, and aluminum foil can cause your pet to experience serious health issues. To prevent your pet’s dietary indiscretion, use a locking pet-proof trash can. 
  • A baby gate — A baby gate can keep your pet from exploring where they shouldn’t, such as in your guests’ bedrooms and open suitcases, the busy street after having zipped out the open front door, and the kitchen littered with the feast’s aftermath.
  • A microchip — A guest may inadvertently leave the door open, or your pet may bolt out to escape the noisy crowd. A microchip that has your current contact information can help ensure a happy reunion with your wayward pet.

Planning for your pet’s safety before the Thanksgiving festivities begin can give you one less worry while you are cooking the turkey and welcoming guests. However, if your furry pal inadvertently gulps down a toxic food, nibbles a chrysanthemum, or eats your guest’s heart medication, give our Animal Hospital of Parkland team a call.

By |2024-02-14T23:52:43+00:00November 1st, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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