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
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!
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
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
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!
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!
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
- 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.