How to keep your pets safe during Thanksgiving
CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Thanksgiving is a special holiday that brings family and friends together, but it can also bring some dangers for pets.
While it’s tempting to include your pets in Thanksgiving, many aspects of the holiday can put pets at risk. Fatty foods are difficult for animals to digest, and poultry bones can damage their digestive systems.
The American Veterinary Medical Association provided the following tips to keep your pets safe and healthy during the holiday:
- Keep the feast on the tableEating turkey or turkey skin can cause a life-threatening condition in pets known as pancreatitis. Fatty foods are difficult for animals to digest, and many foods that are healthy for humans are toxic to pets, such as onions, raisins, and grapes.
- No pie or other sweets for your petChocolate can be harmful to pets, although many dogs find it tempting and will find it and eat it. The artificial sweetener xylitol is commonly used in sugar-free gum and baked goods and can be fatal if ingested by dogs or cats.
- Yeast dough can cause problems for petsThese problems can include painful gas and bloating, which can be dangerous.
- Put the trash away where your pet can’t find it: A turkey carcass sitting on the counter, or left in an open or easily opened garbage can, can be fatal to your pet. Dispose of turkey carcasses, bones, offal, and anything used to wrap or bind the meat, such as string, bags, and wrapping, in a covered, tightly sealed garbage bag placed in a closed outdoor trash container.
- Be careful with ornamental plants: Some flowers and holiday plants can be toxic to pets, such as amaryllis, baby’s breath, sweet William, some ferns, hydrangeas, and others.
If you think your pet has been poisoned or has eaten something it shouldn’t, immediately contact your veterinarian or local emergency veterinary clinic. You can also call the ASPCA Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435 or the Pet Poison Help Line at 1-855-764-7661; Note that fees may apply.
Visitors can disturb your pet
Some pets are shy or irritable around new people or in crowds, and Thanksgiving often means a large number of visitors and higher than usual levels of noise and activity. If you know your dog or cat gets nervous when people come to visit, put them in another room or in a crate with their favorite toy. If your pet is particularly bothered by guests, talk to your veterinarian about possible solutions to this common problem.
If any of your guests have compromised immune systems, make sure they are familiar with the pets in your home so they can take extra precautions to protect themselves. If you have exotic pets, some people feel uncomfortable around them, and these pets may become stressed more easily during the festivities.
Watch the exits
Even if your pet is comfortable around your guests, be sure to monitor them closely, especially when people enter or leave your home.