The biggest pet dangers on Thanksgiving tend to come from all of the rich food that is available. Most pet-owning families have learned by now that onions and chocolate are not safe foods for their dogs, but there are plenty of other food dangers too.
For example, grapes can cause fatal kidney failure in dogs. Even one or two grapes in susceptible dogs can cause serious problems. Many non-pet-owning guests wouldn’t think twice about handing your dog a grape. With families going for healthier fare, grapes will be on many tables this year, so warn your family members and guests or keep your dogs safely away from the table. To be safe, keeping all pets away from the food areas is a good idea. That way you know your pet won’t be tempted by an illicit treat.
Certain nuts, such as macadamia nuts, can cause problems in pets and alcohol is a definite no. Still many dogs, an occasional cat and a number of birds will sneak a sip or two or more of beer or wine. Looking at a pet’s size compared to a human, it is obvious that very little alcohol consumption can have a big effect. Never leave drinks unattended with pets loose.
Then of course, there is the turkey. A small piece or two of breast meat should not cause major upsets for most dogs and cats but too many pieces, fatty skin or bones can all lead to an emergency veterinary clinic visit – not very festive for your holiday. Along with people sneaking extra meat to your pets, be aware that a turkey carcass left alone is simply asking for trouble. So, clean up and put meat safely away immediately. Also make sure garbage containers are tightly secured.
Desserts can be dangerous for pets as well. Many chocolate treats are included in family holiday fare. While traditional pumpkin pie sounds healthier, it is generally quite rich. Extra rich foods can cause pancreatitis pets- an inflammation of the pancreas- which can be serious or even fatal. Most cases of pancreatitis require at least a day or two of hospitalization.
With some care and planning ahead of time, you can keep your pets safe during Thanksgiving. Having a healthy happy pet is one more thing to be thankful for.