Thanksgiving pet safety (1)
Posted November 16, 2018
Thanksgiving is a special holiday that brings
together a few of our favorite things—family, friends, and food.
While your furry friend may be an important member of the family,
it’s important to remember there are some traditions Fido shouldn’t
take part in this Thanksgiving.
According to Kit Darling, infection control coordinator at the
Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical
Sciences, food outside of your pet’s routine diet is likely to
cause digestive upset, and there are several holiday foods that are
hazardous to pets.
“Some rich foods may cause digestive problems or pancreatitis,”
she said. “Do not allow your pets to ingest turkey skin or dark
meat, turkey bones, garlic, sage, onions, grapes, raisins,
macadamia nuts, chocolate, bread dough, or the artificial sweetener
Turkey and ham bones cause choking hazards and can splinter in
the digestive tract, which could lead to an unplanned holiday trip
to the emergency room. Fully cooked and boneless ham or turkey meat
is OK to feed pets; however, owners should avoid feeding them
anything with excess fat or seasoning.
“As an alternative to Thanksgiving food, owners can give their
pets their own treat or safe chew toy away from the food
preparation and dinner,” Darling said.
Owners can stick to their pet’s typical diet by mixing a bowl of
their normal food with lean, boneless and skinless pieces of turkey
or ham. Fresh vegetables such as green beans or sweet potatoes will
also make a great addition to your pet’s Thanksgiving feast.
Owners should also keep an eye on special holiday displays,
which may attract the attention of your pet, as well. Pets should
be kept away from pine cones, decorative flowers and plants,
candles, and electrical cords.
In addition, visitors can upset your pets, leaving them stressed
or anxious during the holiday. A solution for this is to keep pets
in a quiet room or crate with a treat or toy, according to
“Thanksgiving can be stressful for you and your pets, with
changes in their routine, visitors, and travel,” she said.
“Remember to give your pet attention and provide them with a safe
place to retreat to if things get too loud or intense. Before the
holiday, it may be beneficial to give your pet the opportunity to
be around people of all ages.”
When visitors arrive or leave, Darling reminds owners to secure
their pets to prevent them from running or sneaking out of the
house. If your pet does happen to make a run for it, identification
tags and microchips with current contact information will play a
major role in their return home.
By following these simple precautions, you can ensure your pet
remains safe and happy this November. In the spirit of
Thanksgiving, your pet will be forever thankful that you kept them
healthy for the holiday season.
Pet Talk is a service of the Texas A&M College of
Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. Stories can be
viewed on the web at vetmed.tamu.edu/pet-talk. Suggestions for
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