Thanksgiving is upon us, and holiday festivities will be in full swing for the rest of the year, and then some. For Thanksgiving, I want to give you some more tips to keep your pets safe. This is part 2 of a 3-part series on Holiday pet safety.
Just like part 1 of our pet safety tips from Halloween, if you are having a gathering at your home, be aware of where your pets are when you are opening and closing the door to let your guests in. People tend to linger in the doorway and exchange greetings, which leaves the door open for a long while. Does your dog or cat bolt out the door? Will they come when called? Keep the door open for as little time as possible, and if your pets tend to run out, confine them to a room to prevent this from happening. This also will prevent your guests from being jumped on by an excited pet.
How do your pets react to large numbers of people, and to possible strangers? You do not want your guests feeling uneasy, or threatened by an aggressive pet. And, you do not want your pets to be all over your guests when they are just trying to enjoy their time with you. If your pets will be aggressive, or very overly friendly, or if this will cause fear and stress for your pets, then confine them in a nice quiet part of the house where they can be comfortable and stress free.
We are going to eat a very large, high fat meal at Thanksgiving, guaranteed. Although our bodies can handle it (to some degree), our pet’s intestinal tract is not equipped to handle such a high fat diet. And, our pet’s diets are much less varied than ours. They eat the same meal every day. Giving them table scraps of high fat content will cause upset stomachs, and possibly diarrhea or vomiting. Do your pets a favor and just do not feed them any table scraps, no matter how much they plead. You will thank me for this. Besides, feeding your pets table scraps will create begging, which is a hard habit to break.
Another reason not to feed your pets table scraps is that many of the things we eat are toxic to your pets. Onions and garlic will cause anemia in pets. Anemia is the reduced ability of the red blood cells to carry oxygen. Chocolate is toxic to your pets and can cause heart problems, even leading to death. Rasins and grapes are toxic to pets. These are linked to kidney failure.
The cooking string from your turkey or roast can cause major problems if your pet swallows it. Instead of the string passing through, the stomach or intestine actually ‘climbs up’ the string, essentially turning itself inside out. If your pet does swallow string, and you see it hanging out of your pet’s mouth, do not pull it out! This can cause the same thing I just mentioned. Take your pet to the emergency vet immediately.
Speaking of turkey and roast, do not feed your pet the bones left over from the turkey carcass, roast, or ham. When cooked, bones become brittle and can splinter. These splinters can cause major internal problems in your pets. They can also cause an bstruction. Just don’t do it.
When the day is over, make sure to keep all garbage out of reach of your pets. If your pet gets into the garbage, they may get hold of any of the things I have just talked about.
If your pet will be out and about during the festivities, feed them before you and your guests sit down to eat. Doing this will help curb your pet’s tendency to beg. You may want to keep them separated during the meal if they tend to beg. You may also want to give them something to keep them busy while you are enjoying your meal. Give them their favorite toy, or give them a Kong filled with their favorite treat to keep them occupied.
All in all, you want to stick with the routine for your pets. The same food at the same time will fill them up, and they will be happy. Be safe, you are responsible for your pets.
So remember to think about keeping your pets safe and comfortable during this Thanksgiving holiday. Think about how your pets may react to certain situations, and plan accordingly to keep them out of harms way.