Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Pets

Make sure your pets are safe this Thanksgiving by following these guidelines. By paying attention to the needs of your pets, the whole family can enjoy the season.

Decrease the Stress

Thanksgiving can be hectic and noisy with house guests, new noises, children running, and a busy kitchen. These stimuli can be overwhelming for some pets, especially cats. Dogs can have anxiety with increased noise and people, so don’t assume that they are enjoying themselves with all of the guests in your home.

Cats tend to do better when kept in a small, dark area where they can feel hidden like a closet in a back room. Anxious dogs should not be forced to mingle with guests and should be kept in an unused back room or in a crate in a quieter area. Let your guests know that your pet is anxious and not to try to pet them.

If your pets become stressed around other animals, make a request that your guests not bring their own pets to your home. Even if your guests’ pets are kept away from yours, the new smells and sounds will be upsetting to them.

Some dogs and cats have severe anxiety with changes in their routines, noises, and new people. These pets may benefit from receiving anti-anxiety medication on Thanksgiving Day.

Keep Pets Safe

Pets can get forgotten in the middle of the busyness of cooking, cleaning, decorating, and entertaining for Thanksgiving festivities. Remember that there will be guests coming and going through your home who will not know to keep the dog or cat from running out the front door.

Be sure to keep your pets crated or in a back room if they tend to dart for the front door. Make sure your guests know not to let them out of their rooms or crates. For pets that do not tend to run off, it’s still a good idea to make your guests aware to keep the front door closed so the pets are safe. Dogs will make a beeline for a squirrel if given the chance.

You may even want to consider boarding your anxious pets at a facility where they will be more safe. Though many pets are anxious while boarding, they will not be at risk of getting loose outdoors or getting into the turkey.

For pets that have fearful behavior and tend to bite when scared, they should be kept away from your guests at all times. Not everyone is able to pick up on the signals that dogs and cats give when they are getting ready to bite out of fear. Make a plan before Thanksgiving Day comes to ensure that your pets will be safe and comfortable.

Hide the Turkey

We’ve all heard the stories of the dog that ate the entire turkey prepared for the Thanksgiving meal. Not only will the guests be upset by the lost meal, but your dog can become very sick. The bones can be difficult to digest or result in an obstruction if too many are eaten at one time. The fat content in many foods can be much too high for a dog, resulting in a painful condition called pancreatitis where the pancreas becomes very inflamed. These dogs have to be hospitalized many times in order to help them feel better.

Many foods that are safe for people can be toxic for pets. Chocolate, onions, grapes, xylitol sweetener, and others are not digested the same way in dogs as in humans. It is important to keep food away from the reach of your pets, and if this is not possible, the pets should be kept in a crate.

Not only do you need to keep an eye on the food on the table and counters, but the trash can as well. Be sure to empty the trash cans before allowing your pets to have freedom to visit the kitchen after your guests leave.

Healthy Holiday Treats

It is also important to tell your guests not to feed your pets. It is tempting to want to slip a little treat to them when no one is looking, but this can make them very sick. Let your guests know that the foods we eat can be very bad for dogs and cats. Many pets also have food allergies which can result in vomiting and diarrhea after getting just a small taste of turkey or chicken. You can keep a jar of appropriate, safe dog treats for your guests to give to the pets instead.

If you can’t resist giving Fido a taste of what you are having for Thanksgiving, choose items that are low in fat and without sugar. Things like carrots, plain green beans, and baked sweet potatoes without the brown sugar are healthy snacks most dogs will enjoy.

Who to Call

If you do run into a problem on Thanksgiving and you are not sure whether or not a trip to the veterinary emergency hospital is necessary, make an appointment with an online vet. They can help assess your pet, discuss the symptoms, and make a plan to help your dog or cat get better.

Make an appointment with an online vet today and get further advice for your pet’s care for just $50.

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