While Thanksgiving is a special holiday for family and friends, it does pose some dangers to your pets. Avoid feeding them foods that they may make them sick, and keep them safe when hosting a party or traveling. Learn more tips to make Thanksgiving enjoyable for your pets below.
If you’re hosting a party:
- Lock scared pets in a room or crate. Some pets can get upset or stressed by the higher noise and activity levels. When visitors arrive, put your pet in a safe room or a crate with his or her favorite toy. This reduces the emotional toll on your pet and keeps your visitors safe.
- Be careful at doors. If your pet is comfortable around visitors, it’s still important to keep a close eye on him or her, especially at entrances. Your pet may still get scared, and once an exit door is opened, he or she may break out and get lost. Give your pet toys and treats to reward good behavior.
- Keep pets safe from decorations. Candles and holiday displays can draw your pet’s attention. Always supervise lit candles and never allow your pet to get too close to them to keep your pet safe from fire. Also, keep pine cones, needles, and other decorations away from your pet’s sight as they can harm your pet if ingested.
- Check tags and microchips. Whether you’re hosting a party or traveling, make sure your pet wears a collar with an updated ID tag. You can also microchip your pet (an implant under your pet’s skin). This helps to quickly find your pet in case it gets lost.
If you’re traveling:
- If you’re leaving town without your pet, make sure it is well taken care of. Use a pet sitter or take him or her to a boarding facility. Leaving pets alone for days is not a good idea as water bowls can spill and accidents can happen.
- Planning to travel with your pet across state lines or international borders? Your pet will need a health certificate from your veterinarian. Learn the pet travel laws for the states you will visit or pass through.
- Never leave pets alone in cars, even for a short while, whether it’s hot or cold outside. If you don’t leave your pet proper sustenance or ventilation, it could be at risk for serious injuries or even death. Also, many states have laws that deal with animals left in unattended vehicles.
- Safely restrain your pet in vehicles. Use a secure harness or a carrier placed away from airbags. This helps protect your pets in case of an accident or a sudden break or swerve and also prevents pets from distracting the driver. Keep pets away from food or other items that can harm them.
- If you plan to travel by air with your pet, be aware that air travel can put pets at risk, especially short-nosed dogs. Ask your veterinarian for advice concerning your pet’s ability to travel.
Pet food poisoning safety
- Never feed your pet Thanksgiving food. Oily and fatty foods can cause serious problems for pets, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and pancreatitis. Bones can also harm your pet’s digestive tract. Other foods that are poisonous to pets include raisins, grapes, onions, chocolates, cooked bones, fruit pits, and walnuts.
- Yeast dough can also be dangerous to pets. The yeast in rough dough convert the sugars in the dough to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol. Ingesting it may cause painful gas and bloating, which can sometimes threaten your pet’s life.
- Remove leftovers properly after a meal. Dispose of all trash and leftovers, such as turkey remains, bones, and packaging immediately in a closed container. Pets may get curious and can cause themselves serious harm eating leftovers.
In case your pet has ingested something poisonous, immediately contact your veterinarian or local veterinary emergency clinic. Stay safe and have a great Thanksgiving with your family, friends, and pets!