Gobble Up These Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips


With over 845,000 dogs and cats newly adopted and fostered this year amid COVID, Best Friends Animal Society offers some helpful tips on celebrating the holiday with your pet (safely).

Go Easy on the Gravy

Molly Wald

A hungry pet can get into a lot of trouble near the culinary creations of Thanksgiving. It might be tempting to let your pet stick around while you cook or sneak some scraps under the table but keep in mind, rich foods can lead to trouble for our four legged friends. Dense or fatty foods, or simply something new and unfamiliar, can upset a pet’s stomach and even cause pancreatitis, which can be life-threatening.

The Ultimutt Feast

Poultry or ham bones can break up or splinter in a pet’s stomach and even be deadly, so dogs and cats should not gnaw on them. Other food-flavored items like plastic wrapping, turkey twine, mesh or even the pop-up timer can smell tempting to a curious pet, but could lead to injury if ingested.

Chocolate, especially that used for baking, is toxic for dogs, and should also be kept out of reach. Avoid sharing onions, raisins and grapes, as those are known to be poisonous for dogs as well.

Instead, prepare a healthy and safe meal for your pet with pet-friendly treats or fun toys on hand.

It’s also a good idea to review these rules with any guests too, since well-meaning holiday visitors might not know the potential harm caused by slipping pets a piece of the pie.

Festive Foes

Sarah Ause Kichas

One more thing to keep in mind around the holidays is decorations – many plants and flowers can be toxic for curious cats and dogs, so before buying that centerpiece, double check it won’t cause any harm to your pet. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), some plant hazards include amaryllis, baby’s breath, sweet William, some ferns, and hydrangeas.

Thanksgiving is often one of the busiest evenings for emergency vet clinics, so it’s important to be extra careful with our animal friends – especially this year, when many animal hospitals are operating under COVID restrictions. Let’s make it a happy and healthy holiday for everyone, even if this year might look a little different! One thing is for certain – thousands of newly adopted dogs and cats are thankful to be in homes.


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