Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips

Posted: 11/23/2011


Enjoy your Thanksgiving feast and keep your pets safe during the holidays! 

Emergency veterinary visits increase during the holidays and are often associated with pets eating food they shouldn't have.

"Too many table scraps, especially fatty foods such as gravy and turkey skin and fat, can lead to vomiting and diarrhea or a more serious medical condition, pancreatitis, said Dr. Robyn Barbiers, President of The Anti-Cruelty Society. "It's best not to feed your pet any table scraps. A trip to the emergency clinic will ruin everyone's holiday, including your pets."

Always avoid giving your pet any type of meat bones - all bones can cause problems - poultry bones easily splinter and can cause serious damage to your pet's gastrointestinal tract and even large knuckle bones can cause an obstruction.

"As an emergency veterinarian, I have removed every type of bone from dogs of all sizes. I once removed a knuckle bone from a large bull-dog that was unable to swallow it - a very expensive bone but one with a happy ending," said Dr. Barbiers.

Make sure you properly dispose of your turkey carcass and all other garbage. Even if your pet doesn't normally bother the trash, the rich scents may change their minds.

Other foods to keep your pets away from include chocolate, onions, baked goods, and of course, alcoholic beverages. If your pet does become ill or ingests a toxic substance, immediately contact your local veterinarian or the APCC Animal Poison Control Hotline at 888-426-4435.

Keep your pets safe during Thanksgiving gatherings at your home. If you have guests for Thanksgiving, post a sign on both sides of your door so that everyone is careful to close it securely. A dog or cat can easily slip out and not be missed in the holiday confusion. This is one more reason to make sure that your companion animal is wearing up-to-date identification with your current address and phone number on it. You might even consider keeping your pet in a quiet room during the festivities. This way, you won't have to worry about them slipping out, and they won't be frightened by the noise and commotion.

Information provided by the Anti Cruelty Society.