Each year, many pets become ill during the holidays. Some of the most common health hazards include intestinal obstructions, chocolate ingestion, other food toxicities, and pancreatitis. To ensure that your Thanksgiving holiday is filled with happiness rather than a long wait in a veterinary emergency room, here are some of the common Thanksgiving pet dangers to avoid.
1. Avoid Sharing Your Food
Although sharing our leftovers with our pets may be in keeping with the holiday spirit of goodwill, it can be hazardous to your pet’s health. Sharing rich fatty foods, like turkey drippings, skin, gravy, ham, or bacon, can lead to gastrointestinal upset or worse yet a life-threatening pancreatitis.
2. No Bones
Bones also pose a danger to pets. Poultry bones are dangerous because they can splinter and get lodged in the gastrointestinal tract and therefore should never be given to pets. Ham and beef bones can break teeth or can also cause intestinal obstructions. If you wish to give your pet a special holiday treat, instead of giving them bones, consider giving them a healthy dental treat specially intended for safe chewing and dental hygiene.
3. Keep Food Out of Reach of Pets
Be aware of foods that are poisonous to pets and be sure to keep these safely out of reach of pets. Pick up any spills or dropped food to prevent your pets from finding food on the ground. If your pet manages to get into anything, do not wait for symptoms to occur. Call your veterinarian or local emergency veterinarian right away for help.
Most people know that chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats. Depending on the amount consumed, it causes vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, seizures, and even death. Never give your pets chocolate and of course keep this sweet treat out of reach of your pets.
Candies, desserts, and other foods that contain the artificial sweetener xylitol are very dangerous to pets. Xylitol causes insulin release leading to low blood sugar levels and can also cause liver failure. Be sure to keep all these sweet treats out of reach of hungry pets. If your pet manages to steal some candy or dessert containing xylitol, immediately call your veterinarian for help or take your pet to a veterinary emergency clinic.
Raisins and Grapes
Many Thanksgiving dishes contain raisins or grapes which can be very dangerous for pets. Grapes and raisins have been reported to cause severe kidney damage.
Many nut varieties are toxic to pets and can have a devastating effect on dogs’ nervous systems. Walnuts and macadamias are especially toxic and can cause vomiting, paralysis and even death.
Onions, chives, and garlic in any form are poisonous to pets. They cause lethargy, weakness, ataxia (lack of coordination), hyper-salivation, anemia, and even death.
4. Keep Your Dog Busy with a New Toy
With so many tasty Thanksgiving dangers often at pet’s eye level, it is always best to keep pets out of the kitchen and away from the celebration. And while sharing is in keeping with the holiday spirit of goodwill, sharing leftovers with our pets can lead to serious health problems. Instead of giving your pet leftovers from your holiday meal, give your pet a pet-safe treat or a new toy. Doggijuana makes fun dog toys designed to keep your pets entertained and calm. Each toy has a built in Velcro pocket that allows you to add a pinch of Juananip. Juananip is an all- natural organic catnip, which is a calming agent in dogs. Doggijuana toys will keep your dog engaged and relaxed during the festivities.
5. Keep Pets Away from Doors
Although the holidays are usually joyous times, as anyone who has ever hosted a holiday party knows, they can also be stressful times. This can be especially true for our pets. The revolving door of visiting guests and the break from the routine can frighten our pets and cause them to run away. If your pet tends to easily get scared, nervous, or becomes protective, it is important to keep them confined safely inside your house. Many pets are lost during the holidays when they jump out of their yard or dart out of an open door. Remember all pets, even strictly indoor cats, should have collars with tags and microchips so that if they become lost they can be returned safely home.
Keep these common Thanksgiving dangers in mind to keep your pets safe during the holidays.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!