As we gather with friends and family to give thanks, let’s not forget about the safety and well-being of our four-legged family! There are numerous human foods that are harmful to our pets, and lots of visitors can be overwhelming for animals that aren’t accustomed to meeting new people in the home. To ensure a joyous and safe holiday for everyone, we’ve put together a few essential tips to keep in mind for the feasting season.
1. Create A Safe Space
You can prevent unnecessary stress by preparing a quiet space for your pet before visitors arrive. This will allow your pet an easily accessible space to retire to if the festivities get too loud or overwhelming.
- A bedroom farthest away from the feasting is a perfect spot for a quiet space.
- If your dog is crate-trained, make sure their door is left open so they can enter and exit when needing time away.
- Make sure to provide plenty of mental enrichment in their safe space to keep them occupied. This can be a safe chew toy, kong, or anything else that will capture their attention for an extended period of time.
- Never force your pet to interact with visitors when they feel uncomfortable! This can lead to fearful behaviors that will require future training to mitigate.
2. Avoid Harmful Foods
Numerous different human foods can be harmful, or outright toxic to our pets. Here are a few to keep in mind:
- Grapes & Raisins: Both of these are toxic to dogs and cats.
- Cooked Bones: Cooked bones can splinter, causing punctures in the digestive tract.
- Turkey Skin: The skin is very fatty, and can cause digestive upset or pancreatitis.
- Onions: Toxic to both dogs and cats.
- Garlic: Extremely toxic to dogs and cats, even in small amounts.
- Alcohol: Your pet’s kidneys are not designed to filter anything alcoholic in nature.
- Chocolate: When ingested, chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and even death.
3. Toxic Festive Plants
Certain festive plants can be toxic to our pets. Here are just a few of those plants:
- Holly Berry
4. Be Prepared For An Emergency
Accidents happen, and it’s always a good idea to be prepared. Make sure your pet’s microchip information is up-to-date, in case they manage to escape during the festivities. Familiarize yourself with the nearby emergency clinics, and save the numbers to your phone if that will help in a time of panic. And if you believe your pet has ingested something toxic, you can call the ASPCA Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) or the Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661).
Thanksgiving can be a fun, but sometimes stressful holiday. Hopefully with these tips you are well-prepared and ready to take on the festivities!