Something to be Thankful For: A Safe Thanksgiving!

We’ve all got something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, and those of us at Destination Pet are incredibly thankful for all our animal friends in our lives. Part of being thankful for your pets means wanting to include them in the holiday celebration. And while there are definitely some things that your pets can share in and partake of, there are certain things that you want to keep away from your furry babies that could surprise you.  Here are some tips we can all be thankful for!

1.    Keep the fatty foods away from your furry friend—but think about a special treat instead!


The fat in foods like beef fat, poultry skin, and gravy can cause gastrointestinal issues in both cats and dogs, including vomiting; diarrhea; excessive gas; or pancreatitis. This is especially true for older animals who are more prone to this type of inflammation. A lot of times, fatty foods like these have also been in contact with, or include, other ingredients harmful to pets, like onions, raisins, and grapes. But if you still want to be able to treat your beloved dog or cat with something special to celebrate the holiday, a couple of small bites of lean, unseasoned, cooked turkey can be a nice treat. But even better—and safer!—is making a special dish of their favorite dog-friendly foods. Our CEO’s dog loves strawberries and bananas, so he likes to create a special meal with a few of those thrown in to make it a particular treat for Thanksgiving. An extra bonus: if you add their favorite treat to a food puzzle toy, it can help keep them occupied while you’re eating your meal!

2.    Make sure to keep bones away from your pets

No bones about it: turkey bones can be dangerous for your pet. Turkey bones can be appetizing to your babies, but they can cause intestinal upset or can splinter once digested. Splinters are as bad as they sound: they can cause damage to the intestines that can cause infection, blockages, or even death if not treated properly. Make sure to dispose of any bones carefully and securely, where your pet can’t get to them—and be sure that all strings, plastic holders, and bags that have a meat smell are also disposed of appropriately as they can also cause intestinal issues.

3.    Dishes with yeast can cause issues too

Yeast may be something that we don’t think about often in conjunction with foods dangerous to pets, but yeast is a rising problem. Yeast ingestion can cause painful gas and dangerous bloating in cats and dogs, which is dangerous on it own—but because yeast converts sugars in bread dough to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol. Drunken, bloated pets can have life-threatening complications that could require hospitalization.

4.    If you have lots of visitors coming into town, try to minimize the stress

Hosting parties or having overnight guests can disrupt your pets’ routines and cause extra stress. If your pet is shy or anxious around visitors, you can try putting him/her in another room (or in their crate) with a favorite toy. This can help reduce the stress, and let you introduce your pet to your guests once things have calmed down more. If your pet is especially upset by large group of guests, you could consider talking to your vet about arranging an overnight stay. If you do have a social pet that loves to greet your dinner guests, make sure to keep an eye on the door at all times to prevent your furry friend from getting outside, and make sure that all identification tags are updated.

5.    Keep decorative plants safely away from pets

Holidays are a perfect time to decorate your house with festive plants, and they’re often brought as gifts from guests. As pretty as they can be, though, some plants can be toxic to pets; plants to watch out for include amaryllis, Baby’s Breath, Sweet William, some ferns, hydrangeas, and more. Make sure to keep these plants in rooms that your pets can’t get into, or in a place they can’t access.

At the end of the day, be observant but have fun!

At the end of the day, remember that quick action can help prevent dangerous results. If you think that your pet has gotten into something they shouldn’t have, call your veterinarian or local emergency clinic as fast as possible. Keep an eye out for changes in behavior, or obvious signs of gastrointestinal distress, and make sure that potentially harmful items are kept well out of reach. But don’t forget to enjoy the holiday with your pet! Special treats are always a fun addition to the day, and it makes celebrating the special day that much better when you can share it with all the members of your family—human and animal alike!


Further Reading:

-        Thanksgiving Pet Safety from the AVMA

-        Plants Toxic to Dogs

-        Plants Toxic to Cats