Smack dab in between the two most beloved American holidays (Halloween and Christmas), we celebrate Thanksgiving. And by celebrating we mean eat, gather with family and friends, eat, play football, eat, and watch football. And maybe eat a little more!

This is, of course, not lost on our furry friends that observe each and every tasty morsel that we enjoy. As a result, a major part of Thanksgiving pet safety hinges on the harvest. But to fully protect your pet this holiday season, your approach should go beyond the vittles.

Caring, Not Sharing

Keeping your pet out of the kitchen and away from the dinner table may be easier said than done. Luckily, there are lots of healthy options to share with your pet, such as:

  • Bite-sized pieces of cooked white meat turkey
  • Steamed carrots or green beans
  • Cooked, mashed potato or yam
  • Unsweetened canned pumpkin
  • Small apple bites

You can put together a small plate for them with a variety of the above and serve it to them right before or during your own family meal. Or, feel free to select a few tasty treats as you’re preparing the table foods to keep their hunger and curiosity at bay.

What to Avoid

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, it’s natural to want to share what you’re enjoying with your best friend. However, the following foods can be incredibly dangerous to their health:

  • Turkey skin and dark meat
  • Gravy
  • Bones
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Grapes, raisins, or currants
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Dairy products
  • Uncooked yeast dough
  • Xylitol (found in sugar-free baked goods and candy)

Remember to take all trash outside to the receptacle, and be sure your pet cannot get into any discarded scraps.

If you notice that your pet is vomiting, has diarrhea, lethargy, or any sudden behavioral changes, please seek emergency help right away.

Dangers Beyond the Table

Many flowers and plants are considered toxic to pets. Thanksgiving may be a bit early for poinsettia, but it’s good to be watchful. Amaryllis, hydrangeas, and some ferns can be blamed for terrible symptoms. If you ever have any doubt, please consult the toxic plant list published by the ASPCA.

Unexpected Emergencies

If you are hosting a family gathering this year, be sure that your guests cannot create dangerous situations for your pet. Talk to them about the risks associated with marijuana, over-the-counter medications, and certain personal care products.

Also, due to heightened activities around the house, be sure your pet cannot escape or jump the fence. Ensure that their collar is on with the ID tags, and if your contact information has changed, update it with their microchip manufacturer.

Thanksgiving Pet Safety

Remember that pets are highly sensitive to changes to their routines. Meal times and exercise breaks should continue on schedules. If your pet needs a break from your family gatherings, encourage them to hang out in a quiet room away from the noise.

If you have further questions or concerns about Thanksgiving pet safety, please let us know. From all of us at Bayshore Animal Hospital & Avian Practice,  have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!