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Turkey Day Safety Tips

We are 1 week away from Thanksgiving! Here are some holiday safety tips to keep your pets safe on Turkey Day.

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

  • Be cautious about where your pets are roaming throughout the cooking process. If you allow them in the kitchen, keep them away from the hot oven door and stovetop to keep their safety in mind.
  • Avoid giving your dogs anything that can pose as a potential health hazard such as onions, grapes, garlic, chocolate, and alcohol, which are all toxic for pets. Stuffing often contains ingredients like onions, scallions, and garlic, all of which are toxic to dogs and cats. They can cause a life-threatening condition called anemia.
  • Turkey is not inherently dangerous to dogs, and it is sometimes a main ingredient in dog foods. However, when preservatives, sauces, and other additives are introduced to the meat, it increases the toxicity level. Don't drop any bones from the turkey, either. Bones can cause indigestion, become lodged inside your dog's digestive tract, or splinter and tear up your pet's organs. Ham is another popular entrée that is bad for pets, potentially causing indigestion and pancreatitis. Mashed potatoes are another food that's technically safe for animals, but butter and garlic make this Thanksgiving staple unhealthy for pets. If your salads include grapes or raisins, make sure those little bites stay on the table because if they fall into your dog's mouth, they can cause kidney failure that can turn fatal.
  • Xylitol comes in some sugar-free baked goods, and it can be deadly to pets. Avoid at all costs.
  • Decorating the table with holiday-themed items makes for a great photo op. However, be careful leaving pets unattended near potentially dangerous decor, like candles! A low hanging tablecloth can attract your pet and provide access to the decorations and food, a potential dinner party disaster.
  • Keep trash cans closed and, if possible, take them outside when they are full. No one wants their perfect pup digging through the trash bag.
  • If you decide to feed your pet a small bite of turkey, make sure it’s boneless & well-cooked. Don't offer her raw or undercooked turkey, which may contain salmonella bacteria. Do NOT give your pet the left over carcass–the bones can be problematic for their digestive tract.
  • Don't spoil your pet’s holiday by giving him access to raw yeast bread dough. When a dog or cat ingests raw bread dough, the yeast continues to convert the sugars in the dough to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol. This can result in bloated drunken pets, which could become a life-threatening emergency, requiring hospitalization.
  • If you plan to bake holiday desserts, be sure your pets keep their noses out of the batter, especially if it includes raw eggs—they could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.
  • While your family enjoys the special meal, give your pet a special feast of their own! Offer them made-for-pets chew bones -OR- add to their usual everyday dinner—perhaps some small pieces of turkey, vegetables (try plain cooked sweet potato or green beans) and dribbles of gravy—inside a food puzzle toy. They’ll be happily occupied for awhile, working hard to extract their dinner from the toy and you will get to enjoy an uninterrupted meal with family!
  • If you plan on traveling during the Thanksgiving weekend, think about what your pet will need for the trip. Be sure to pack enough supplies for the length of your trip, including a bit extra for potential problems. Find our Holiday Travel Tips here.

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Here's to an enjoyable holiday spent with family, friends, and your pets! Enjoy.