Holidays with Pets

Posted by  //  November 12, 2014  //  Articles

‘Tis the season for friends, family and holiday feasts—but also for possible distress for our animal companions. Pets won’t be so thankful if they munch on undercooked turkey or a pet-unfriendly floral arrangement, or if they stumble upon an unattended alcoholic drink. check out the following tips for a fulfilling Thanksgiving that your pets can enjoy, too.

Keep Bones Out of a Dog or Cat’s Reach
With Thanksgiving dinner comes a lot of turkey bones. These bones can be very tempting to a cat or dog, and if its smelly enough a pet will take any opportunity to raid the trash can when no one’s looking to snag a leftover bone. And with family and friends around, an owner may not realize that their pet has wandered off to eat a potentially deadly snack. We know wild dogs and cat may eat bones, but our pets are domesticated and are not use to that kind of diet.  A pet that eats a bone can suffer an intestinal obstruction, punctures and tears to the intestinal tract and potentially deadly internal bleeding.

To avoid any harm to your pet no matter how much they might beg, keep all bones in a sealed plastic container and ask guests not to feed your pet. Dispose of the bones in a sealed outdoor trashcan. If you pet can potentially get into your outdoor trash cans, place the container with the bones in the freezer. Then on trash day place the bones curbside.

Keep Dogs and Cats Out of the Kitchen on Thanksgiving Day
Meal preparation can be fun and exciting, but also very hectic for the cook or cooks, if family and friends join in. This can make the kitchen crowded and busy on Thanksgiving Day, and having a pet hanging around the kitchen can be a recipe for disaster.

If your pet accidentally gets under foot while busy cooks are bustling about on Thanksgiving Day it could cause serious injuries to the cooks as well as the pet. Tripping and falling over a pet, especially when carrying a hot food item, can lead to burns and cuts from broken glass. You pet could also get injured from being stepped on or a person falling on them, which can cause broken bones and internal injuries to the pet. The best thing to do is to keep cats and dogs out of the kitchen.

Confine Cats and Dogs When Thanksgiving Guests Arrive
Some dogs and cats are very social, while others don’t appreciate visits to the home from strangers. Many cats and dogs find Thanksgiving Day guests overwhelming and frightening. Combining this fright with a guest’s attempt to pet a nervous cat or dog, can lead to bites and scratches turning a joyous holiday into an unfortunate and serious situation.

Children who are visiting the home on Thanksgiving Day may also pose a danger to cats, dogs and other pets. A child who is not accustomed to handling a cat or dog may act inappropriately, injuring the pet, while the child’s parent is off tending to Thanksgiving Dinner or socializing. The child may also inadvertently provoke the dog or cat, leading to a dog bite or other unfortunate situation.

To avoid injury to both your pet and to guests, supervise all interactions. If you can’t watch your pet, it’s best to confine the cat or dog to a kennel or spare bedroom on Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving Dinner for Dogs and Cats
Thanksgiving dinners are delicious and many pet owners feel they need to share this with wonderful meal with his or her pet. Pet owners should always double-check a list of toxic food items, this way if you do give your pet some Thanksgiving dinner you know its safe. Fat trimmings and very fatty foods should always be avoided as this can trigger pancreatitis in dogs and cats.

The key to giving a bit of Thanksgiving dinner to the dog or cat is to give just a bit – moderation. Large amounts of unfamiliar foods will cause nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea in pets. Instead, offer a small amount of white turkey meat with the cat or dog’s normal dog or cat food. If a pet owner feels tempted to give their dog or cat a large amount of Thanksgiving dinner, resist the urge and hold some of the food aside for the following day’s meal. The dog or cat can then enjoy Thanksgiving foods over the course of two or three meals, instead of just one, since the cat or dog’s Thanksgiving dinner will be presented in a way that his body can tolerate.

Keep the Emergency Vet and Pet Poison Control Numbers Handy
Unexpected things can always pop up during the holidays. It is a common time for illness and injuries in pets. Always keep the number and address of the nearest 24-hour veterinary clinic handy, along with the number to the 24/7 Animal Poison Control Center 800-213-6680

Here is a partial list of toxic foods for your pets:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeiene
  • Chocolate
  • Fatty Foods
  • Fat Trimmings & Bones
  • Fruit Toxins
  • Mushrooms
  • Nutmeg
  • Nuts
  • Milk & Dairy Products
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Raw Eggs
  • Rhubarb
  • Raw Meat & Fish
  • Salt
  • Xylitol
  • Yeast Dough
  • Grapes/Raisins

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