Please keep your pets in mind over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Extra visitors in your home, traveling to an unfamiliar setting, and a lot of extra food can be stressful and may even harm your pets. Below are some suggestions to ensure a smooth and uneventful holiday. 

A Place of Their Own

A full house of family and friends may be overwhelming to your pet. Make sure to have a safe place for your pet to retreat to if it feels scared. Set a room aside that is quiet and free of people. Make sure to have things that are familiar to your pet in the room including its’ bed, toys, food and water.


Raw or undercooked turkey can hold salmonella bacteria, which can be harmful to your pet. Small bones can also be a choking hazard. In fact, both turkey and ham bones can splinter in your dog’s digestive tract, which can lead to an emergency trip to your vet. Dispose of bones carefully and keep them away from your pet!

Watch the Trash

The garbage can be a smorgasbord of enticing smells to your pet. Even the most obedient pet cannot resist the temptation. Pay close attention that all garbage has been properly bagged and disposed of in a container with a secure lid.


Don’t Overindulge

With so many yummy treats available this Thanksgiving, remember that moderation is key. Too much of a good thing could lead to stomach upset or diarrhea for your pet. A great way to include your pet would be to give them a special pet-friendly toy or chew when your family sits down for dinner. Better yet, fill your pet’s Kong with a little bit of the Thanksgiving meal (go for turkey, sweet potato or green beans). This way you can avoid  begging at the dinner table and your pet can enjoy a little of the meal without overindulging! 

ID Your Pets

The stress from holidays can make a scared pet bolt right out of an open door. Make sure your pet wears proper identification at all times and the phone numbers are current. In addition, get your pet microchipped. If its’ collar breaks away, it can easily be scanned for a microchip, identified and returned to you.

Not All Spices are the Same

Sage can make any ho-hum stuffing taste amazing to humans, but this spice along with others contain essential oils and resins that can make your pet’s stomach upset if eaten in large quantities. Cats are very sensitive to these essential oils. In addition, that nutmeg that adds something special to your pumpkin pie, can cause seizures or central nervous system problems in your dog.

Say No to Dough

When it comes to raw dough, the answer is no. Raw dough raises in an atural body temperature causes the dough to rise in its’ stomach. As the dough expands, the dog may experience things such as severe abdominal pain, bloating and even vomiting, which can become life-threatening. If your pet accidentally eats dough, contact your vet immediately.

Food is Everywhere

Some foods that pets should never consume include alcohol, avocado, chocolate, coffee, caffeine, citrus, coconut and coconut oil, grapes, raisins, nuts, dairy products, garlic, onions, chives, raw/undercooked meat, eggs, bones, salt and salty foods, Xylitol, yeast dough. These are just a few of the “human” foods that can make your pet sick.


You can contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 for assistance.

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