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Keep Your Pets Safe With These Thanksgiving Pet / Animal Tips


UPDATE: This post is written by Joey Kennedy for Animal Advocates Of Alabama.  Learn more at:

Often, we think of Halloween as a bad time for pets. Lots of people coming to the door; the danger of candy and chocolate, if our pets get to it. Wrappers and sticks in suckers. We need to be vigilant at Halloween, but Halloween is nothing compared to Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Be careful your best friend doesn't indulge too much on Thanksgiving. (Photo courtesy Alabama Spay/Neuter Clinic)

Be careful your best friend doesn’t indulge too much on Thanksgiving. (Photo courtesy Alabama Spay/Neuter Clinic)

Like Halloween, we have lots of people coming to the door on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and that can upset our dogs (and to a lesser extent, our cats). The big worry on these days, however, is the food. It’s out there in abundance, and we often share with our dogs, because, well, we’re thankful we have them.

Be thankful, but don’t share. Alabama Spay/Neuter Clinic sent out a warning email this week about Thanksgiving. We reprint it here so folks will know the dangers of Thanksgiving to their companion animals. Thanks, Alabama Spay/Neuter Clinic. We’re especially thankful for you!

Pet safety tips for the Thanksgiving Holiday:

It’s that time of year again when there is always, always something to be thankful for, whether it be your family and friends joining together for a delicious feast or simply kicking back with a brew and enjoying a football game. While all of the commotion, decadence, and libations are being shared with gratitude, we would like for you to be aware of your pets’ health and safety. Below is a list of tips on how you can safely share this Thanksgiving holiday with your pets.

  • Watch out for fatty foods: Too much unfamiliar, fatty, or rich foods can give your pets two very painful and harmful medical conditions: pancreatitis or gastroenteritis.
  • Maintain their regular diet and routine: Making sure your pet stays on their regular meal and exercise plan will prevent them from getting upset stomach, diarrhea and/ or vomiting. This means avoid giving them too many leftovers.
  • No bones about it: Save those bones for making a tasty broth. Giving your pet bones can obstruct or lacerate their insides.
  • Keep them onion free: Many yummy dishes contain onions or onion powder. Treating your pet to these dishes can lead to anemia by destroying their red blood cells.
  • No chocolate at all: Keep those sweets well out of reach from your pet, as the chocolate desserts can be fatal to them.
  • Be aware of other unhealthy foods: Alcohol, Sage, Bread Dough, Grapes, Raisins, Turkey Skins, Turkey Drippings, Meat Fat, Gravy, Garlic, Mushrooms, Nuts, Nutmeg, Corn on the Cob, Artificial Sweetener.
  • Here are foods they can have a small nibble of: Boneless/Skinless Turkey, Boneless/Fatless Ham, Plain Apples, Plain Pumpkin, Plain Carrots, Sweet Potatoes (No Candied Yams), Green Beans.
  • Watch out for food wrappings: Aluminum foil, plastic wrap, turkey twine, etc., can cause internal obstruction. Keep it out of reach or place it securely in the trash.
  • Make sure the water bowl stays full: Distracted guests may accidentally bump water out of the water bowl, or your pet may need to wash down a piece of ham. Whatever the case, make sure they have fresh water available to them.
  • Give them time for peace: A lot of commotion can stress out some pets. Be aware of how your pet is taking all of the excitement. Let them have a moment of tranquility and rest.
  • Keep a watchful eye on the garbage: Cats and dogs smell the mouthwatering aroma from the garbage and cannot help but to rummage. Little do they know is that this jackpot can be a gastric nightmare. Make sure your trashcan has a lid and it is tightly fastened.

Veterinarians have told us that post-Thanksgiving trips to the doctor are too common. They get upset stomachs or worse: pancreatitis. Be thankful you have a great companion animal, but don’t be so thankful you do something that seems kind but that makes them sick.

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