Tag Archives: food safety

6 Thanksgiving Tips to Keep Your Pets (and Turkey) Safe

Every Thanksgiving, pets everywhere are popping their cute heads over kitchen counters. It’s hard to resist those cute big eyes begging for a taste. And while we all love to spoil our pets, here are some guidelines to follow to keep your fur babies healthy and happy:

1. Keep Food Away from your Pet’s Reach

Image Source: Barkpost
Image Source: Barkpost

Keep food a safe distance away from pets. This enables you to control what and how much they’re eating. If you’d like to throw your pup a slice of turkey breast, sweet potato, and vegetables – go for it! Just make sure that piece of turkey is cooked through and boneless!

But there are foods you’ll want to stay away from. Don’t feed your pets turkey fat and skin, excess fat can cause diarrhea and digestive issues in pets. Also refrain from serving food that has been prepared with onions, garlic, grapes and raisins.

If you’re making bread from scratch, don’t feed your pets the dough! Raw yeasted dough breaks down to alcohol when digested which can cause some serious gas at best, and a trip to the veterinary ER at worst.


2. Tell your Guests: Don’t Feed the Animals!

Image Source: Christian Vieler
Image Source: Christian Vieler

Everyone loves to spoil the resident pet(s). Provide your guests with a bucket of dog treats. That way you can monitor how much table scraps are given to your pets to prevent digestive issues. Also, guests might not understand what is safe or toxic for dogs. To eliminate the risk of a sick pet on thanksgiving, leave the table scrap feeding to you.


3. Keep Fur Babies Entertained

Image Source: WishForPets
Image Source: WishForPets

To prevent disasters like the one pictured, feed your pets before festivities begin. This will ensure their tummies are full and potentially encourage better behavior. Feel free to be generous and add a few teaspoons of drippings, lean meat, and veggies (no onions or garlic!) into their food.


3. A Room of Their Own

Image Source: Bea’s Book Nook

Even the friendliest of pets can get overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Move their beds, favorite toys, and a prepared food puzzle toy or rawhide to keep them calm and entertained during the festivities.


5. No Sugar for Sweet Fur Babies!

Image Source: Pinterest
Image Source: Pinterest

Sugar in large quantities can trigger a sugar high in pets which will cause hyperactive and unfocused behavior – a nightmare when you’re entertaining! Sugar free sweet treats often contain xylitol which is incredibly toxic to pets and can cause life-threatening symptoms. To stay in the clear, opt out of giving your pets sweets during any festivities!


6. Know your Emergency Procedures!

Image Source: BarkPost

In the unlikely event your dog gets sick, have your emergency procedures handy! Know the nearest full-service animal hospital that will be open. Watch for these signs that indicate your pet needs medical attention:

  • Continuous vomiting
  • Severe diarrhea, stool with blood, or difficult eliminating
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Disorientation
  • Continuous lethargy
  • Uncoordinated movements

Contact the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 if you think your pet may have ingested a toxic food. If your pet exhibits any of the signs above go to your nearest animal hospital.

Happy Thanksgiving from all at Seattle Humane!

How to Have a Fido-Friendly Thanksgiving

ThanksgivingInfographicThe bounty of rich, tempting foods at Thanksgiving can pose health hazards to our four-legged friends, making Thanksgiving a busy time for emergency veterinary clinics. Keep your pets healthy and safe this holiday season!

Seattle Humane Society urges pet guardians to follow five common sense tips to keep pets healthy and happy during the holiday fun and festivities:

  1. Keep the feast out of reach! Agile and creative dogs or cats can capture a special treat from the kitchen counter, trash or even the dining room table.
  2. Resist offering your leftovers. Rich and fatty foods like dressing, pie, and gravy can lead to serious and painful pancreatitis.
  3. No turkey bones! Turkey bones can cause very serious and sometimes fatal consequences for your pet.
  4. Plan ahead for pets. Stop by a pet food store and purchase some new dog biscuits or cat treats and then reduce the amount of his regular meal to accommodate the treats he will be getting throughout the day. Remember, biscuits and treats are usually much higher in calories than regular pet food, so having him skip dinner may be a prudent choice if he has been snacking all day.
  5. Make a special treat. Some people enjoy cooking for their dog and cat while they are cooking for the rest of the family. Pick up a recipe book just for companion animals at the book store, or just type “homemade pet treat recipes” into your favorite web search engine for lots of interesting choices.


Here are some recipes for homemade goodies for your dogs to enjoy:

Healthy pumpkin balls

This snack is not only delicious but is also filled with fiber, vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium, and iron.


  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 4 tbsp molasses
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix pumpkin, molasses, vegetable oil, and water together in a bowl
  3. Add the whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon to the mixture and stir until dough softens
  4. Scoop out small spoonfuls of dough and roll into balls on your hands (wet hands work best)
  5. Set the balls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and flatten with a fork
  6. Bake approximately 25 minutes until dough is hardened

Apple crunch pupcakes

A fruity treat your dog will adore


  • 2 ¾ cups water
  • ¼ cup applesauce (unsweetened)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/8 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 medium egg
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup dried apple chips (unsweetened)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix water, applesauce, honey, egg, and vanilla together in a bowl
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix until well blended
  4. Pour into lightly greased muffin pans
  5. Bake 1 ¼ hours


Some things to watch out for

  • Keep into account the allergies your dog has to specific ingredients
  • Store your homemade dog treats in an airtight container and place them in the freezer
  • Allow them to thaw for 10-20 minutes before serving to your dog
  • Treats can last for up to 6 months in the freezer

There are many tasty treat recipes for your canine out there, but here is a website with a few more healthy homemade treats!


Halloween Safety Tips for Our Furry Friends!

Winter-XLWith Halloween quickly approaching, there are a few things to keep in mind. It’s important to remember these helpful tips to keep our pets safe during this Halloween season!

-For starters, we want to make sure to keep the bowl of candy away from our pets, and keep it just for the trick-or-treaters. Chocolate can be very  dangerous for dogs and cats, especially dark or baking chocolate. Candy in general can cause problems for our four-legged friends, so just leave it for our two-legged friends! If your pet does ingest something toxic, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. You can also call the Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

-Although it may look tasty, the decorative corn and pumpkins are not so good for our pets’ stomachs if they nibble on them. They are relatively nontoxic but they can produce some upset stomachs.

-Keep all wires and cords from electric lights and decorations out of the reach of your pets! If chewed, your pet could suffer from cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

-Whenever having any kind of open flame, it’s important to be careful. A carved pumpkin looks great lit up at night with a candle, but it’s also important to remember that they can easily get knocked over by our pets and cause a fire! Our curious kittens are the most at risk for getting burned or singed by candle flames, so make sure to be extra cautious when our furry friends are present.

-Just because you think your dog would look great as a pumpkin, doesn’t mean he would like it. Make sure to be conscientious of how your pet is feeling about wearing a costume. Some pets love it, but others aren’t so fond. In some instances, wearing a costume may cause undue stress to our pets.Bella

-If you and your pet are completely up for getting dressed up in costume, make sure that the costume is safe and not annoying for your pet. There shouldn’t be any restrictions to the animal’s movement or hearing. It also shouldn’t interfere with the ability to breathe, bark or meow. Make sure to try on the costumes before the big night so that you can be sure your pet won’t be stressed. If your pet does seem stressed, has an allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider taking off the costume or just sport a festive bandana for the night!

-Also make sure the costume doesn’t have any small or dangling objects that could easily be chewed-off. It’s important to make sure that your pet will not choke on any part of the costume or get twisted around something which could lead to an injury.

-Once the big night arrives, if your pet isn’t the most social dog, it might be a good idea to keep them in a separate room. Some costumes can be frightening to our pets! It can also be very overwhelming for our pets to see that many strangers coming to their home. So unless your pet is very friendly and fine in many different situations, it might be best for them to be separated from all of the chaotic festivities!

-If you do keep your pets around while the festivities are taking place, make sure that your cat or dog doesn’t dart outside. Always make sure your dog or cat has the proper identification. If for any reason your pet gets outside and escapes or becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or microchip can be a lifesaver which will increase the chances that your pet will be returned to you.

Enjoy your Halloween festivities in a safe and fun way this year! It can be fun for both you and your pets, just be sure to follow these helpful tips.