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Thanksgiving with your Pets

October 22, 2011

The holidays are upon us. This Thursday we will be celebrating Thanksgiving with our friends and family, and for many of us, that includes our furry friends and family. There are a few things to remember though to make this a safe and happy holiday for all.

Your pet will no doubt be staring at you as you sit down to your meal. When you look into those big brown eyes you may be tempted to share with your pet. Can you? Should you? If you are having the traditional turkey, it can be safe to share some tidbits with them.   Give them small amounts however.  Pets that are used to a diet of a good quality pet food may get digestive upsets from too much people food. For this reason you want to be especially careful about giving them foods that are rich or high in fats, as too much can cause pancreatitis in pets, a possibly life-threatening condition.

There are also certain foods you want to avoid giving to pets all together. Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats; onions and garlic should be avoided as well. Milk and dairy products can cause diarrhea in some animals. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney issues. Pets should never be fed cooked bones. Bones that are cooked can splinter when chewed and cause major issues when swallowed. If you’re not sure whether a food is safe for your pet, play it safe and don’t feed it to them.

There are a few other things to consider as well besides what’s on the menu. Does your pet enjoy company? Some pets can become stressed when strangers are in their home and may be more comfortable staying in a bedroom. This can especially be true for pets that are not use to children who may be coming over to visit. Consider the safety of your pet and your company when deciding whether they should be allowed to mingle. You may also want to keep your pet in a separate room or crate until after all your company has arrived to prevent someone accidentally letting your pet out the front door. It’s also probably wisest to tell your guests not to share with your pet. A little morsel from everyone could add up for a large mess for you to clean up later if your pet gets an upset stomach.

With a little forethought, this can be a safe, happy and healthy. Thanksgiving for everyone in your family, two and four legged alike.