iStock_000023729783_MediumIt’s almost time for that big Thanksgiving bounty, and you are likely in the midst of prepping for your travel plans or, if hosting, cleaning, collecting favorite recipes, and decorating your home. When making your plans for the holidays, keep your best friend in mind by considering some of the risks he or she might encounter during the festivities. These risks can range from toxic foods to general chaos, and seemingly everything else in between.

Since there’s plenty to think about, your Godspeed Animal Care team would like to take the guess work out of pet holiday safety by providing a “cheat sheet” list of things to consider when it comes to your sweet pup, kit, or other wonderful pet.

Before the Big Day

When it comes to protecting your pet, preparedness is the name of the game. After all, once Thanksgiving rolls around, it’s likely you will be up to your elbows in food prep and last minute tasks, and Monty or Mittens may not get your full attention.

If you know your pet is prone to anxiety or stress when around large groups of people, finding a quiet zone where he or she can play with a toy or relax with a known member of the family is a great idea. This is especially true if your dog has not been socialized or doesn’t know basic obedience commands (and, we encourage you to sign up for classes). It’s good to have a safe zone during busy times, such as when dinner is being prepared or when people are scheduled to arrive (thus reducing the likelihood of kitchen injury or escape).

If your pet has issues with aggression or nipping, plan well in advance for busy holidays and consider boarding as the safest, most comfortable option.

The Turkey Gobbler

It’s natural for family members to want to spoil our adorable dog or cat with a small bit of whatever they might be munching on, but this seemingly innocent act is a one of the biggest and most common threats to your pet’s health.

Fatty foods, turkey skin, and gravy are the gremlins of gastrointestinal upset that can range from mild to severe, and even life threatening. Rich, fatty foods can lead to pancreatitis, a painful inflammation of the pancreas, leading to a serious emergency, and some foods are simply toxic to your pets in their own right. Some of the worst offenders include:

  • Xylitol (an artificial sweetner)
  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine
  • Nutmeg
  • Nuts, especially macadamia
  • Raisins and grapes
  • Garlic and onions
  • Macadamia nuts

If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these ingredients, please call our clinic as soon as possible.

Talking Trash

Open trash bins brimming with delicious scraps and bits are a major no-no when your pet is snooping around. Compost containers, outdoor bins, and other areas where trash and leftovers might end up are danger zones unless covered or secured and pet-proof.

Even inedible items can be of interest to a hungry dog, including foil, pan liners, meat string, and plastic wrap. Keep the trash canned and out of your pet’s perusal.

A Bone to Pick

An old wives’ tale many still believe is that bones are good for dogs, and even help keep teeth clean. Unfortunately, this misinformation leads to injuries in our canines – from broken teeth to intestinal obstructions and perforations.  Keep your best friend busy by giving him or her a Kong filled with a teaspoon of peanut butter or mashed, unseasoned carrot instead.

With a few simple precautions and some pet safety savvy, your pet will enjoy a holiday worth wagging over.

Godspeed Animal Care wishes you and your family – including those cherished pets – a very happy, warm, and memorable Thanksgiving!