The Most Important Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Pets

Turkey Day is almost here. Be prepared with my Thanksgiving safety tips for pets!

I know how busy a day it is, and you may not have time to think about your pets with the cleaning, cooking, and company coming. But, if you plan ahead of time, they will have a good Thanksgiving, too, and you won’t end up at an emergency veterinarian. 

Here are my Thanksgiving safety tips for pets:

Don’t Feed Your Pet Thanksgiving Foods That Are Bad for Them.

  • If you plan on sharing even a small bite of turkey with your dog or cat, it should be thoroughly cooked. They can get salmonella, too. Never give your pets cooked bones, as they can splinter and cause internal injuries!
  • Fatty foods are hard for animals to digest and can cause Pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that can result in vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain. Also, many foods that are healthy for people are poisonous to pets.
  • No desserts for your pets! Chocolate can be harmful to pets, even though many dogs find it tempting and will sniff it out and eat it. Also, the artificial sweetener xylitol, commonly used in sugar-free baked goods, can be deadly if consumed by dogs or cats.
  • Make or buy a treat that is made just for them if you want to share a Thanksgiving treat with your pet! Carrots, apples, and pumpkins are okay for pets to have as well and can also be put into a puzzle toy.

If you believe your pet has been poisoned or eaten something it shouldn’t have, call your veterinarian or local veterinary emergency clinic immediately. Signs of pet distress include sudden changes in behavior, depression, pain, vomiting, or diarrhea. You may also want to call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline (888-426-4435) or the Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661).

Supervise Your Pets at All Times

  • Keep your pets away from any alcohol.  Alcoholic drinks are definitely not pet friendly! And while you may think a little taste is cute, it really is not, and the ramifications are just not worth it!
  • Certain plants and flowers are toxic to pets and if ingested, can cause harm. Flowers like lilies and poinsettias are very pretty, but best kept out of pets’ reach.
  • Pets can become anxious or overly excited when you have a full house, especially if they have never met your guests before. Try putting them in a quiet room away from the action.
  • Plug in a pheromone diffuser (Adaptil for dogs, Feliway for cats) several days before the event to reduce stress and allow your pet to relax. On Thanksgiving, put on classical music or easy-listening tunes to minimize the sounds in the other room. Offer brain-teasing puzzle toys to keep your pet occupied.
  • You should also take care to watch the door when guests are coming and going. With so many people coming and going from your home, it can be easy for pets to escape. This puts them in potential danger, especially as temperatures drop. Always ensure your pets are microchipped and have updated IDs, which can help them be found if they get lost.

Prepare for Travel in Advance

  • When you travel for Thanksgiving, you have two options: take your pet or leave them at home. If you take your pet, you’ll need to plan for how to keep them occupied when you make it to your destination and how to keep them calm during the car ride. Keep in mind if you’re traveling across state lines, your pet will need a health certificate from a licensed veterinarian for some states, so you should ensure you have the proper documentation
  • If you choose not to travel with your pet, you can board them or get a pet sitter. However, if you plan to board your dog, they’ll need to be up to date on their vaccinations.

Hopefully, these Thanksgiving safety tips for pets can help ensure your dog or cat has a happy and safe holiday. The best thing you can do to keep them safe is to plan ahead. Keep these Thanksgiving safety tips for pets in mind, and be sure to consult your vet with any questions you have before the big day.