For many, Thanksgiving is a time of turkey, stuffing, football, and family. It can also mean a break in routine that is fun for humans but can be confusing or even dangerous for our furry family members. We have some easy Thanksgiving pet safety tips sure to make the holiday fun for you and your dog.
Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips
Keep Thanksgiving dinner on the table
While it can be tempting to let your pup join in on the festivities by sharing your thanksgiving meal, many human foods are dangerous for dogs, especially carved turkey, where bones can splinter and cause internal damage if eaten.
If you hate to leave Fido out of your traditions, check out our post on human foods dogs can eat this Thanksgiving. There are also many fun Thanksgiving treats you can make your dog at home to help them celebrate as part of the family.
Be conscious of guests
If you’re hosting guests this Thanksgiving, keep in mind that extra feet in and out of doors can mean an opportunity for your dog to wander. (Not to mention the disruption extra humans can cause an unexpecting dog.)
You can combat this danger by creating double barricades (like baby gates on doorways) and ensure that the first barricade is closed before the second is opened. If extra people may be the source of stress for your dog, you may want to invest in making them a safe haven in your house for them to rest in as needed.
This haven can be as simple as a quiet back room full of comforting items, such as their crate, a favorite toy, calming pheromones and other items that tell your dog they are safe. (This technique can work with cats as well.)
Be the “treat police”
Another hazard of having guests in your home is that some may not realize that table scraps, especially fatty foods, can be dangerous for your dog. Many traditional Thanksgiving dishes contain heavy cream and fat as their core ingredients and can upset your dog’s stomach. Other items, such as pumpkin pie containing nutmeg, or a dessert containing an artificial sweetener such as xylitol, can cause life-threatening consequences for your dog.
So don’t be afraid to be the “treat police” and let your guests know they can only give approved treats to the resident canine.
Watch the Foliage
A surprising number of common plants and flowers can be poisonous to dogs. If you’re hosting, and receive a host gift of flowers or a potted plant, be aware if the plant is dog-friendly. Thankfully, we have an extensive database of poisonous plants for dogs and cats for you to take a look at. Better to know before your pet has helped themselves to a little holiday snack.
Secure your trash
Just as your mouth begins to water as you smell the turkey cooking in the oven, your dog will be intrigued by all the marvelous smells leftover from your feast!
Your garbage may be extra appealing after preparing the meal, but raw food remnants, as well as packaging and wrappers, are dangerous for dogs to digest. While your pooch may practice self-restraint under normal circumstances, it won’t hurt to ensure that your trash is out of their reach.
Know the signs
Despite careful planning, sometimes your dog is going to eat something they shouldn’t. Whether it was Aunt Gertrude slipping them some turkey skin with garlic all over it, or a nighttime foray into the kitchen trash, you may not even know ingestion has occurred.
Keep an eye out for these common symptoms that all is not right with your dog:
- vomiting or diarrhea
- excessive drooling
- irregular heartbeat
- lethargy or trouble getting up
- seizures or tremors
- a bloated or distended belly
These are just a few common signs your dog has gotten into something they shouldn’t. If you see these signs or are concerned your dog is acting irregularly, it’s a good idea to visit your vet.
If they show more alarming symptoms, such as an irregular heartbeat or seizures, a trip to the emergency vet is likely needed.
Be prepared for the unexpected
The holiday season can be a great time for travel, food, and fun. It can also mean your local vet is taking time off to celebrate. Make sure you know your veterinarian’s schedule, and which emergency vet clinics are open during the holidays.
Just having that information in a central location can make a scary situation that much more easy to handle.
We hope these Thanksgiving pet safety tips help you and your furry family members to enjoy a happy, healthy, and safe Thanksgiving holiday!