Monday, November 24, 2014

Pet Safety Tips for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of coming together, celebrating with friends and family.  It can also be a time when you can’t resist slipping your dog a little bit of the goodies from the Thanksgiving table or even letting him lick a plate or two during cleanup.  There are so many opportunities for your dog to eat something that can make him sick or even cause even more serious problems. 
Here are some great tips to remember and share with your guests to help keep your dog and cat happy, healthy and safe during the upcoming holidays.   Follow these guidelines and you'll definitely have a great holiday with family and pets!
1. Turkey Skin – On its own, turkey skin can be fatty and hard to digest, but on Thanksgiving it’s particularly bad (just think of the butter, oils and spices rubbed into it).  If you must share the turkey with your dog, do peel the skin off and cut the meat up into bite-sized pieces.  Also, consider choosing the white meat over the dark for your pooch – it’s a bit little blander and easier to digest. 

2. Cooked Bones – No matter what kind of bird you serve, do not give the cooked poultry bones to your dog.  A cooked bone is often brittle and sharp pieces can get lodged in your dog’s intestine.  Bird bones are hollow and break easily.  Keep a raw beef bone or  bully stick on hand for your pooch.  He can be happily working on one of those while you are stuffing yourself full of tasty bird!

3. Gravy/Buttery Side Dishes – This one goes hand-in-hand with the turkey skin.  Fatty foods and trimmings can cause Pancreatitis in dogs at worst and diarrhea or vomiting at “best.”  Try substituting gravy with a little turkey broth if you really want to give your pup a treat.  Better yet, keep a bit of raw goat's milk on hand and let him sample the yummy goodness of that, minus any digestive upset.

4. Aluminum Foil and Plastic Wrap – Dispose of these immediately when you’re done with them.  There are two risks here:  one, your pet will be licking the fatty substances off the wrappings, and two, swallowing these can cause an intestinal obstruction.  Sitting at the emergency vet is not how you wanted to spend Thanksgiving evening.

5. Chocolate – Not that we think that you would intentionally feed your dog chocolate (which we all know can be toxic to our canine friends), but since candy is often left out on tables for guests during the holidays, it made the list.  Be sure to keep bowls filled with chocolate and other candies out of vision and out of reach of your dog. 

6. The Garbage Can – What dog hasn't been tempted by the trash can, especially after all those family members have emptied their plates in it.  Keep your dog happy with a long-lasting bone or bully and he'll forget all about the smells coming out of the trash can!

7. The Kitchen – Thanksgiving can be the busiest day of the year for the kitchen and you’ll want to keep your pup out of there.  With hot dishes being whisked from one counter to the next, there’s a chance a dog that’s under foot could be burned or cut if something were to shatter. 

8. Holiday Plants – Sure it’s Thanksgiving, but a good number of people have already decked the halls with holly by this time.  Know that Poinsettias, holly berries, mistletoe and Cedar Christmas trees are toxic to dogs.  When in doubt, don't purchase those items.  There's plenty of things to decorate with! 

9. Decorations – Glass ornaments and candles are just begging for trouble.  Like the chocolate, keep these out of reach of your dog.  Choking or poisoning isn't pretty.

10. Guests Who Mean Well – Educate your less pet-savvy visitors on pet safety during the holidays (and anytime!).  A child may accidentally feed a dog some chocolate and your great aunt might think she’s being nice by sharing her turkey skin.  

Remember....only the best for your pet!