Keep Your Pet Safe During the Holidays

Dog staring at Thanksgiving turkey

Thanksgiving Day Safety Tips for Your Pet

Thanksgiving Day may be one of your favorite holidays, but Turkey Day can be dangerous for your pets. Following a few of these tips will help you ensure that your furry friends don't suffer a Thanksgiving emergency.

Limit Special Treats

It's best to stick to your pet's usual diet on Thanksgiving. Although a tiny taste of cooked turkey probably won't bother your pet, eating some traditional Thanksgiving foods may make your pet sick. Stuffing and other foods that contain onions or garlic can cause anemia in cats and dogs, while grapes and raisins may cause kidney failure. Even powdered onions or garlic can pose a problem.

Mashed potatoes may also cause a problem. The milk or sour cream used to make the dish could trigger a bout of messy, uncomfortable diarrhea for your lactose intolerant pet.

Don't turn your back on your raw turkey while you prepare Thanksgiving dinner. In just a few seconds, your dog or cat can jump up on the counter and take a bite or lick of the bird.

Eating or licking raw meat increases your pet's risk of developing salmonella or bacterial infections. Turkey skin, whether cooked or uncooked, can also sicken your pet. The American Veterinary Medical Association notes that eating fatty turkey skin can cause life-threatening pancreatitis.

Don't let your pet gnaw on turkey bones either. The bones can become stuck in your pet's throat and may splinter easily, causing painful cuts.

Other foods to avoid include:

  • Chocolate
  • Yeast
  • Scallions
  • Foods that contain the sweetener xylitol
  • Raw eggs

Prepare a Sanctuary for Your Pet

Some pets love everyone, others become a little anxious or fearful around strangers or groups of people. If your pet doesn't like large, loud gatherings, it may be happier spending the day away from the Thanksgiving festivities.

Before the guests arrive, place food, water (and a litter box if you have a cat) in a quiet room and close the door. Stop by the room periodically to check on your pet.

Make Sure Your Dog or Cat Wears an Identification Tag

While you're busy saying goodbye to your guests, your pet may decide it's the perfect time to dash outside. An ID tag attached to your pet's collar will increase the likelihood that your dog or cat will be reunited with you if it becomes lost. The tag should include the pet's name, and your name, address, and telephone number.

ID tags are important even if your pet has been microchipped. Although veterinary offices and shelters usually have microchip scanners, your neighbors won't be able to locate or read the chips.

Take Out the Trash

Even a normally well-behaved pet may be unable to resist temptation when the trash can is unattended. After all, the trash can contains all of the Thanksgiving foods that are usually off-limits to your pet. Food isn't the thing you need to worry about in the trash. String used to truss the turkey can wrap around your pet's intestines if swallowed, requiring emergency surgery.

Use Restraints When Traveling

Unrestrained pets may be at risk for serious injuries if an accident happens when you're driving to Grandma's house. Loose pets may also interfere with your concentration and force you to take your eyes off the road. Restrain your pet with a harness attached to a seat belt, or secure your pet's carrier firmly in place with the seat belt. Exploding airbags can injure or be fatal for your pet. For safety's sake, place your pets in the back seat.

Don't let pets stick their heads out the windows. They may hit their heads on posts or other obstacles or experience eye injuries from airborne particles and debris.

Put Decorations Out of Reach

It's only natural for pets to be interested in the decorations that suddenly appear around Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, an inquisitive cat can knock over a lit candle, or a curious dog can eat non-edible parts of decorations quicker than you can say "leave it".

Place decorations in high places that aren't accessible to your pet, and remove centerpieces as soon as your meal is over.

Whether your dog eats something it shouldn't during the holidays or your cat or small animal needs a checkup, we're here to help you care for your pets. Call our office if you have a question or want to schedule an appointment.

Sources:

The Humane Society of the United States: Travel safely with your pet by car, airplane, ship or train

American Veterinary Medical Association: Thanksgiving Pet Safety

ASPCA: Thanksgiving Safety Tips

Location

Find us on the map

Office Hours

TEMPORARY ADJUSTED COVID-19 VIRUS HOURS AND DAYS

Monday:

9:00 AM-5:00 pm

Tuesday:

9:00 AM-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

9:00 AM-5:00 PM

Thursday:

9:00 AM-7:00 pm

Friday:

9:00 AM-5:00 PM

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

Feedback from our clients

  • "Thanks for everything you did for Ready !
    Obviously he loved you all !"
    Bart V.
  • "I will continue to bring my furkids to Buck Road. They are absolutely wonderful with my dog and have been a great resource for my cat who suffers from allergies and kidney problems. They really care about their patients and their humans, and listen to me when I have concerns. They are never, ever overcrowded. Usually there is maybe one other dog in the waiting room. That is a relief and keeps everyone's stress levels down! The facility is clean and staff is always friendly and willing to walk you through, step by step, the treatment plan ahead. I never leave feeling confused. I love this place - and we keep coming back despite moving pretty far away!"
    Courtny S.
  • "Awesome staff ~ great veterinary care ~ Dutch is lucky to have such wonderful professionals looking after him!"
    Beverly B.
  • "A top notch practice. Highly recommend."
    Jason D.
  • "I've been bringing my pets to Buck Road Animal Hospital almost from the time they started and I have never had anything but positive experiences there. The staff feel like friends to me and they always make you feel like they're happy to see you and your pets. The vets take their time with you and your pets and they go out of their way to give you any information you might need about a pet's condition or treatment. I have A LOT of pets and some of my dogs have aggression issues but you'd never know it to see them there. They understand how to make any animal feel at ease and even my most difficult dog is welcomed there. I'd never go anywhere else. Best veterinary practice anywhere."
    Mary K.
  • "I have been a client of Buck Road Animal Hospital for 30 years..and they are the all the greatest caring friendly kind people..I would not go anywhere else..They go out of there way to accommodate you..They are Number 1..Hats off to Caroline Renee Leanne Donna Lindie and to the best vets Dr Steve and Dr Mary Pat."
    Carole M.
  • "Probably the greatest animal hospital of all-time. The staff is superb, and the Doctors are as kind and knowledgeable as they come. Can't wait for our next visit!"
    Andrew S.