Pet Calendar: Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips

Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips

Are you ready for Thanksgiving? Are your pets? If your house is like mine, it will be Grand Central from now until the first of the year. Friends and family bring joy, food and cheer to the house; they bring stress for pets.

What can you do to keep your pet safe, healthy and happy on the Thanksgiving holiday weekend? Here are my Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips:

  • If your pets aren’t accustomed to toddlers and/or strangers he could be prone to bite. Any animal, no matter how mild mannered has that tendency when faced with stress. Have a safe spot in which he can escape from guests.
  • Make everyone aware your pets aren’t accustomed to children and work with them to show the correct way to approach your cats or dogs.
  • People unfamiliar with your pets, or any pets, don’t realize the temptation an open door poses. Be vigilant and keep an eye on the door. If the noise level gets to be too much inside the house, your dog or cat may see an open door as a welcome respite and dash out.
  • Table scraps are not healthy for your pets. Your guests may think sneaking Fido or Fluffy a bit of turkey or dressing is a good idea. Tell them your pets are not allowed table scraps. Be aware many people still feel gnawing on a bone is good for your pets — that may be the case with the correct type of bone — but turkey or chicken bones can shatter and pose a real health problem (even death) to your pet.
  • Bones and other treats should likely be avoided when you have a houseful of strangers as your pet may become very territorial.
  • You may find yourself tempted to toss your pet a few bites of turkey and dressing or mashed potatoes with gravy. You might think they’d relish a treat, but food that rich can wreak havoc with their digestive systems and you don’t want Fido to be yarking on your carpet, right?
  • Grapes, raisins, onions and chocolate are all toxic to pets. Do not let your pet eat any of these items.
  • Alcohol and caffeine are also toxic to pets; keep them out of reach.

Give your dog a treat filled Kong or other toy in which he will have to work (and have fun at the same time!) digging that treat out. Offer the treat in an out of the way place and it just might keep him from begging at the table. We know it’s hard to resist those soulful eyes, but you have to make certain your guests know they have to. Enjoy your day!

Written by our Story Editor, Robbi Hess, who, by the way, lives with two dogs, four cats, three lizards and two ferrets! Happy Thanksgiving! (That’s her Devon Rex, Ickis, pictured with a pumpkin. BTW, pumpkin is a great, and healthy, treat for your pets.)

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Larry Kay is the award-winning coauthor of Training the Best Dog Ever, which became a #1 best seller in dog training on Amazon Kindle. He is Leader of the Pack at Positively Woof, which helps shelter dogs get adopted by making videos and raises awareness and funds. Larry is an award-winning dog filmmaker and has been a frequent contributor to the American Animal Hospital Association and Dog Fancy magazine.