Family, friends, food and football are a big part of the Thanksgiving holiday for many. With so much going on, it’s important to remember that Thanksgiving can also present some dangers for our four-legged friends. From turkey bones and chocolate desserts to aluminum foil and your guests themselves, there is a lot to think about to keep your dog away from holiday hazards. So we’ve put together this list of Thanksgiving safety tips that can help you and your dog enjoy a happy, healthy holiday together.
Table the table food.
Most Thanksgiving fare is not exactly veterinarian approved for dogs. But there are a few items that can prove extremely hazardous to your pooch’s health. These include:
- Bones—whether from a turkey or a cooked ham, bones can cause gastrointestinal distress and can even splinter once they are digested. The splinters can cause intestinal problems ranging from infections to blockage or even death.
- Grease—ham or beef fat, turkey skin and gravy can all cause stomach distress in dogs that can include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive gas and pancreatitis.
- Desserts containing chocolate or xylitol—chocolate is highly poisonous for dogs, as is the plant-based sweetener xylitol, which is often used in sugar-free bakery products.
- Raw bread dough—don’t let Fido get into the dough, as it can cause extreme bloating and gas.
Ask your guests to help out.
Ask them in advance to be careful when opening your door, so that your pup doesn’t sneak out. If children are in attendance, remind them to be careful going in and out (as children tend to do). Also ask your guests not to give your dog table scraps. A serving a Bil-Jac Harvest Feast with Turkey, sweet potatoes in gravy is a great way to treat your dog safely.
A special spot could be helpful.
Please consider that dogs are den animals. A special place to sleep (crate or pillow in a quiet room) could be very helpful in calming down your pets. A lot of stimulus is going to happen in a short period of time and their spot is what they might be most thankful for during your holiday.
Leftovers you may not think about.
In preparing Thanksgiving dinner—and in wrapping up those leftovers—we often use products that can be very damaging to our pets should they munch on them. These include:
- Meat packaging
- Cooking twine and rubber bands
- Aluminum foil and plastic wrap
- Plastic bags that may smell like meat
Empty that trash right away.
It’s nothing but a collection of dangerous temptations for your little buddy. It can contain anything from turkey bones to coffee grounds and the kind of packaging we talked about earlier. All of it can be dangerous to your dog and turn a happy holiday worrisome in an instant.
Lastly, just in case… Keep your veterinarian’s on-call number handy, or the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline number (888-426-4435, fee may apply). If you think your dog has eaten something he shouldn’t have, call one of these numbers right away. Signs of a pet having eaten something toxic can include vomiting, diarrhea, crying or whimpering in pain, lethargy or a sudden change in behavior.
With a little extra planning and keeping these tips in mind, you can have a happy and safe Holiday weekend with your whole family! We wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving.
Do you have another safety tip for dogs during the holidays? Share it with us below!