Thanksgiving is only a few days away! It's a great time to celebrate with family and friends. The aroma of the Thanksgiving turkey and numerous other delicious foods cooking is enough to make anyone's mouth water, especially your pet's! During all the excitement the holiday brings, it's important to remember that some of our holiday favorites can be toxic or unhealthy for our pets. Keep these tips in mind to make sure all members of your family have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!
- Provide your pet with plenty of fresh water! With all the excitement of greeting guests, making new friends, and possibly trying out new foods, your pet is likely to work up quite a thirst! Always make sure to provide your pet with clean, fresh water.
- Don't overfeed your pet! With so many different foods to try, it's hard not to overeat on Thanksgiving. But overfeeding your pet can cause upset stomachs, vomiting, and diarrhea. Feeding large amounts of fatty foods can be dangerous to pets. Pancreatitis is a painful and potentially dangerous condition that can be caused by a diet too high in fats. While a small amount of table scraps may be okay to offer your pet, don't overdo it. Advise any guests not to feed your pet, and always avoid foods high in fat, sweets, and cooked bones.
- Learn what foods are toxic to your pet! It's important to learn what foods are safe to feed your pet, and which aren't. You don't want to accidentally feed your pet something that could be dangerous to him/her. What foods to avoid will depend on what species your pet is, so make sure you do your research and learn what foods to avoid!
- Keep an eye on your decorations! For a playful pet, holiday decorations may be confused as fun new toys. But decorations can be dangerous to your pet. They may be a chocking, or impaction hazard if your pet inadvertently swallows them. Decorating is festive and fun, but keep it safe as well by making sure all decorations are out of your pets reach.
- Make sure to secure your garbage can! With all the food wrappers and scraps being thrown out, the smells coming from your trash can are likely to be very tempting to your pet! Make sure your can is secured and pet proof.
- If you serve alcohol, keep it away from your pets. To most people, keeping food out of their pets reach is common sense. But it's important to keep an eye on your drinks as well, especially if your drinking something potentially dangerous to pets, such as alcohol.
- Minimize stress for your pet. The holidays can be stressful for humans and animals alike. Minimizing your pets stress level will go a long way towards making sure your pet is comfortable throughout the holiday season. Maintain your pets regular schedule as closely as possible. Give your pet a 'safe zone'; a place where they can go to escape the hustle and bustle of the holiday excitement if they need some time to relax. If you can, set aside a room in your house that is off limits to guests, so that your pet has a nice peaceful area it can retreat too if the need arises.
- Make sure your pet is wearing an ID tag! If your pet is a cat or dog, or other uncaged pet, make sure they are wearing their collar and ID tags, and/or that they are microchipped. With guests going in and out of the house frequently, your pet may decide to take advantage of an open door. Make sure to tell your quests to be careful around the doors, and keep a careful eye on your pet so he/she doesn't attempt to make an escape.
- If you are traveling with your pet, plan in advance! Traveling can be stressful, and you don't need the added stress of having to prepare for traveling with your pet last minute. Make all travel arrangements and pack for you pet ahead of time to reduce stress on the day you are going to travel.
- Maintain safety around guests! If you are expecting guests for the holidays, make sure they treat your pet with respect. Be extra careful around children who may not know how to handle your pet properly. Inform all guests of your house rules regarding pets, including making sure they are aware of what holiday foods shouldn't be given as treats.
The holidays can be just as enjoyable to our pets as it is for us. Follow these tips and you should be setting things up for you and your pet to have a happy Thanksgiving!