If you’ve followed our blog over the years (and, of course, we hope you have!), then you probably know all about pet toxins. You might even have a list of all the no-no’s that can cause pet poisoning. Still, most holidays that involve lots of food go hand-in-hand with increased calls to the Pet Poison Helpline and visits to veterinary emergency clinics.

Along with gratitude, there’s no doubt that Thanksgiving is all about the food and lots of it. Because many pet owners still don’t know about some of the foods that are dangerous to pets, it’s important to remind everyone about these risks. Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital has some great suggestions on how to create a pet-friendly Thanksgiving to keep your furry friend safe this season – and throughout the year!

A Pet-Friendly Thanksgiving to be Grateful About

Thanksgiving calls for quality time with loved ones and expressing thanks for all the amazing blessings in our lives. You may also feel tremendous gratitude for your pet and their unconditional love and loyalty.

This year, create a special Thanksgiving for your pet by focusing on a few simple, yet meaningful ways you can say thank you to your pet.

  • Invite some of your family or friends who have pets over for a play date and feast. There are so many recipes for pet-friendly treats online, just like these peanut butter and pumpkin treats or these oatmeal-turkey biscuits.
  • Create your own holiday tradition by skipping the typical feast and volunteer at a local animal shelter instead. You can even offer to walk rescue dogs the day of Thanksgiving along with your very own best friend.
  • Gather all the family members and go for a hike on a beautiful, dog-welcoming trail.
  • Get into the fall sports season by hosting a football game that includes your favorite canines.
  • Bake up some tasty snacks for your cat, like these bacon and apple treats, or try a DIY sewing project, such as catnip-filled toys using fall-themed fabrics.
  • Stage a Thanksgiving celebration or autumn style family photo that includes the four-legged family members. Your shots will definitely be Instagram-worthy, and we’d love to see them!

Tasty (not Toxic) Treats

We’re sure you adore your pet, so it’s understable that you’d be tempted to indulge them in a slice or two of delicious turkey. However, there are several off-limits toxic foods, like Xylitol, chocolate, stuffing, raisins and grapes, yeast, onions and garlic, macadamia nuts, and alcohol. There are also rich, fatty foods, like turkey skin and gravy, that can cause pancreatitis.

Fortunately, you can treat your pet (in moderation) to some of the follow Thanksgiving fare:

  • Unseasoned skinless turkey (no bones)
  • Steamed carrots, brussel sprouts, or green beans
  • Unseasoned yams or mashed potatoes
  • Corn removed from the cob
  • Pumpkin puree that doesn’t include sugar or sugar substitutes

Other Pet-Friendly Thanksgiving Tips

If you’re hosting this year, keep in mind that you’ll be very busy cooking, entertaining, and cleaning up. If it’s not possible to supervise your pet around the table, it’s a good idea to grab some favorite toys and treats and allow your pet to hang out in a separate area during all the excitement. You can always treat your pet to a post-dinner walk or playtime (and work off all those calories!).

If you’d like more Thanksgiving tips for pets, please do not hesitate to call. Happy Thanksgiving!