Thanksgiving is a great time to get together with family and friends to share good times and create lasting memories. Doing what you can to make sure everyone is comfortable and feeling good will result in an amazing holiday. While considering the comfort of your human friends and family, you should also be thinking about your pets.
Like you, your pets also enjoy being able to stuff themselves, especially when it comes to table scraps. However, to keep them safe, you need to be cautious about what they ingest. You also need to keep their stress levels in mind if you are traveling or if you plan on having a crowd at your home. Below are some tips to keep your pets safe and happy during Thanksgiving.
Being Safe with Food
When it comes to food, you or your guests may be tempted to feed your pet from the table. While certain foods in small amounts probably won’t hurt them, other foods could cause problems. Below are some things you definitely need to keep away from your pets.
Items such as turkey skin or gravy can cause issues for your pet, including vomiting, nausea and excessive gas. In a worst-case scenario, fatty foods can also lead to pancreatitis, which can lead to death. Do your pet a favor and don’t feed them fatty items.
Turkey bones pose a serious threat to dogs, so they should not have these at all. They are small, so they can be a choking hazard, but they can also splinter when consumed. If these bone splinters get into your pet’s intestines, they can puncture the walls, causing an infection, or group together and form a blockage. Either of these can lead to serious issues for your pet.
Chocolate and Artificial Sweeteners
You will more than likely be making desserts for your Thanksgiving feast, and this is something that many people love to indulge in. While they are fine for humans to consume, make sure to keep your dog away from chocolate and the artificial sweetener xylitol. Both of these items are poisonous for dogs and can cause serious health complications if ingested.
Other Food Items
In addition to these food items, it’s also a good idea to keep your pet away from raw bread dough, raw turkey and unbaked desserts. The yeast in raw bread can cause excessive gas, bloating and discomfort for your pet. If they consume raw turkey or uncooked desserts that contain eggs, there’s a chance they could be exposed to salmonella, which can lead to illness.
Safety in the Home
While you may enjoy having a bunch of people in your home for the holidays, this can be incredibly stressful for pets. There will be an increase in the amount of noise and activity in your home, and they may not know how to handle that. They may also be exposed to small children. If they haven’t been around young kids before, they may not know how to act.
In some cases, you may also have guests that are uncomfortable around your pet. To ensure that everyone is safe and comfortable, it’s a good idea to have a safe place for your pet to go. This could include a quiet room away from the action or placing them in their kennel. This can help reduce everyone’s anxiety and reduce the chances of your pet lashing out due to stress.
If you are adamant about people not feeding your pet table scraps, then you need to let your guests know. Many of your guests will look at your pet’s sweet faces and think that a small amount won’t hurt. However, if you have more than one person giving your pets small amounts of food, it doesn’t take long for this to become too much.
You might also consider placing your pet in their quiet room when everyone sits down to eat. This will reduce the chances of them begging for food and being rewarded for their behavior by well-meaning humans. Should an accident occur, it will also reduce the chances of your pet getting foods that they really shouldn’t eat.
If you are traveling to another house for the Thanksgiving holiday and you are taking your pet, make sure you keep them safe while in the car and when you reach your destination. They should be properly restrained while you are driving. This might include wearing a seatbelt or being placed in their kennel for the journey. This is especially important if you are transporting food. You don’t want your pet to eat it while in the car.
Once you get to your destination, even if it’s a place they have been before, you want to make sure they have a space of their own to retreat to if they feel overwhelmed. Again, the number of people and amount of activity might set them on edge. Bringing in their kennel or establishing a quiet room for them to retreat to will keep everyone happy and feeling good.
Whether you are hosting Thanksgiving at your home or traveling for the holiday, you want to make sure that your pet can’t escape the residence. With people going in and out, this could leave doors open and allow your pet to run free. To prevent this from happening, consider putting up gates or keeping your pet confined to one part of the house. Once again, having a quiet room to keep your pet might be the best option.
Your Pets Deserve the Best
Your pet is part of the family, so you want them there while you celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. However, you also need to ensure that they are safe during the process. Keeping certain foods away from them will help with this endeavor, but you also need to gauge their comfort level in a the house and around guests. This will ensure that everyone—humans and animals alike—have a great holiday.