iStock_000023729783_MediumIf you are like us, you have a long holiday to-do list looming in front of you. You may have special events to attend and, if you are hosting, lots of food and decorations to attend to.

While adding one more thing to your list may seem untenable, when it comes to your pet’s safety this Thanksgiving, emergencies can be prevented if you plan ahead. Let’s accomplish this task together by committing to the Thanksgiving basics we’ve listed for your success.

Pet Tested, Vet Approved

Perhaps you have already made arrangements for your pet during Thanksgiving. If your pet will remain in your home, please create a safe and quiet space away from the table and guests for he or she to retreat to, should the need arise. If you decide to include them at or during the feast, make sure only the following are offered:

  • Turkey – In small amounts, turkey will be much appreciated by your pet. Only white meat, though, and never any bones or skin. Although you may love it, gravy is off-limits for pets, too.
  • Carrots – Dogs enjoy carrots raw or cooked but make sure you give soft carrots to your cat.
  • Green beans – Pets do not need butter or seasoning. Served plain, green beans provide loads of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  • Cranberries – Canned or jellied varieties have too much sugar to give to your pet, but the homemade sauce is packed with vitamins that support the urinary tract.
  • Sweet Potatoes – Nicely steamed or mashed, dogs love sweet potatoes and your cat may enjoy it, as well.
  • Brussels sprouts – Chock full of healthy stuff, cook, separate the leaves, and serve plain for pets.

It may seem charming for your pet to sniff around the kitchen or beneath the table; inform your guests that your pet does not require any surreptitious handouts below the table. Better yet, dish out a healthy variety from the list above and serve your pet in another room.

Definite No-No’s

Please consider that your pet does not need, and should never have, fatty or rich foods due to the possibility of developing pancreatitis. This can cause inflammation, abdominal pain, digestive upset, and lethargy. Also keep in mind the following items should not be offered or left within reach:

  • Stuffing – This omission is due to the likelihood that stuffing contains any member of the allium family (onions, garlic, shallots, leeks, etc) which can be toxic to pets. Also, sage is often used to flavor stuffing and is poisonous to cats.
  • Alcohol – Found in a variety of holiday items from cocktails to cake, alcohol can cause drooling, retching, vomiting, elevated heart rate, weakness, and possibly death.  
  • Bread Dough – Raw dough can rise in the stomach causing painful blockage.
  • Grapes & Raisins – Protect your pet’s kidneys by eliminating anything containing either.
  • Macadamia Nuts – These have been proven to cause weakness, depression, vomiting, and coordination loss.
  • Xylitol – This sugar alternative is gaining popularity and can be found in any sweet treats. Toxic and even lethal for pets, avoid this sweetener at all costs.
  • Chocolate – Most pet owners are aware of the dangers associated with chocolate. Theobromine, the compound found in chocolate, is responsible for causing diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, irregular heart rate, or even death.

Good Housekeeping

Before you go ahead and check off tasks related to a successful Thanksgiving, make sure you properly and securely dispose of the scraps and bones from the meal. Eliminate any strings and wrappers that touched any savory food and store all leftovers in the fridge or cabinets. Contact us immediately if you believe your pet was exposed to something dangerous.

Above all, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving from all your friends at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital!