Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips

Feeding certain foods from the table to your pet can be dangerous to his or her health.

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As we get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family, it is important to remember our furry family members who will also be involved in the festivities. Here are some helpful Thanksgiving tips to keep your pets safe and healthy during this thankful time of year.

Cooking a delicious turkey or ham? Think twice before giving your pet some for their special holiday meal. Feeding your pet excessively rich or fatty foods, like turkey and ham, can trigger pancreatitis (inflammatory disease of the pancreas). Pancreatitis is more common in dogs than in cats, and signs include vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.

Absolutely no chocolate, no matter how much they beg. When chocolate is eaten by pets, it can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and even death. Be aware that baking chocolate can cause the most severe reactions in pets while much less severe reactions may be observed if your pet eats milk or white chocolate. Other toxic foods to avoid feeding your pets are raisins, grapes, onions, garlic, and nuts.  

It’s important to keep in mind that while you may be excited by houseguests, your pet may not. Consider creating a space in your home that is calming, secure, and escape-proof. Make sure to provide their bedding, fresh water, and their favorite toys. If your pet gets extra anxious around the holidays, you may want to talk to your vet about calming supplements, medications, and other calming methods such as Adaptil and Feliway (both natural calming pheromone sprays and diffusers) and calming music like iCalmDog and Cat. Have your pet microchipped in case he or she does get lost, and if your pet is already microchipped, make sure your contact information is up-to-date. Remind guests to keep all outside doors closed to prevent any escapes, and to keep their belongings, such as medicine, locked and packed away. 

If for any reason your pet does eat something toxic and you are not in a position to bring him or her to your veterinarian or emergency hospital please call the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661. I wish all of you a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

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