Thanksgiving is a special holiday that brings together family and friends but these festivities can lead our curious and enterprising pets into all kinds of temptation. In the spirit of attempting to prevent a Thanksgiving Day mishap in your home, here are some tips to keep your pets safe at Thanksgiving:
- Keep an eye on the Turkey! Meat is irresistible to pets and raw poultry can cause salmonella poisoning in cats and dogs.
- Give Thanks, Not Bones! A turkey carcass is so tempting but keep it out of reach. Bones can splinter damaging gums, teeth and throat. They are also a choking hazard and can injure your pet’s digestive system.
- Skip the Fat! Turkey skin, meat drippings, butter and gravies can lead to an upset stomach. Nuts, especially macadamia, are high in fat and pose a real threat of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).
- Turkey Brine Trend, Not a pet’s friend! This salt saturated solution will attract your pets, who will lap up as much as they can and will lead to salt toxicosis. Signs are excessive thirst, urination, vomiting and diarrhea.
- Hold the Stuffing! Stuffing is often made with onions & garlic which are toxic to dogs (and definitely don’t help their breath).
- Say No to Bread Dough! Yeast in bread dough turns sugars into carbon dioxide and can cause severe life threatening bloating.
- No Chocolate! It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures and heart attack. The darker the chocolate the more serious the risk.
- Keep Grapes, Raisins & Currents Away from Your Dog! Even the smallest amount can cause kidney failure.
- Guard the Trash! Bag your trash and put it where your pets can’t find it. Whether it’s indoors or outside, keep all bagged trash in closed containers.
- Decorative Plants & Flowers, Simple! Keep your pets away from plants and table decorations. Some popular holiday flowers and plants are toxic to our pets. These include amaryllis, baby’s breath, sweet William, some ferns, hydrangeas, lilies and more. The ASPCA offers a complete list on their website.
Signs of poisoning in pets are behavioral changes, lethargy, pain, throwing up, diarrhea and an inability to rise or walk normally. Symptoms may not be immediate and can occur up to 4 days after exposure. If your pet has gotten into the trash or you suspect that they have eaten something they should not have, call your veterinarian immediately or call ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Animal Poison Control Center Hotline (888)426-4435.
I want to wish you, your family and your furry friends a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!