How to Keep Your Pets Healthy This Holiday Season

Thanksgiving Pet Safety Advice

This holiday season remember, your pets will never turn down a good treat, so you have to watch out for them… especially around “helpful” relatives and children!

Here’s a checklist of No Nos to keep your pets healthy and happy this food fest season.

Herbs that Disturb.

While it can make your Aunt Alice’s stuffing recipe delicious, the sage herb and many like it, contain essential oils that don’t agree with your pet’s digestive system. Essential oils and resins can cause gastrointestinal distress and central nervous system depression in pets if too much is consumed. Definitely want to keep kitty away from them. Cats are particularly sensitive to certain oils.

Watch out for the Turkey Bandit

Some dogs in the kitchen just can’t wait until your bird is cooked for a snack. Undercooked turkey could contain salmonella and cause serious distress in your pet, or worse.

No bones about it.

Make sure if you do offer a small turkey snack to your pooch that there’s no bones and it’s well cooked. Turkey bones like chicken bones can be sharp and cause intestinal damage.

Just Say No to Dough

When bread dough is eaten, the animal’s body heat causes it to raise many times its original size, expanding the stomach. This may lead to vomiting, severe abdominal pain, bloating… even alcohol toxicosis, caused by the fermentation of the dough. It’s been known to cause emergency trips to the hospital for surgery in extreme cases.

Don’t Egg Them On

Be sure you keep your pet’s paws out of the baking batter if you’re baking up holiday cakes in the kitchen…especially if they include raw eggs. Raw eggs could contain salmonella bacteria that could lead to food poisoning.

Everything in Moderation

Good advice for the humans at the table, GREAT advice for your four paw family members. A little boneless, well cooked turkey…fine. A dab of pie, or a lick of mashed potatoes… OK. But remember, your pet doesn’t have the GI track you have, and changing their diet quickly generally leads to stomach upset, diarrhea or even an inflammatory condition called pancreatitis in some animals if the overindulging gets out of hand.

It’s only natural to want to share the feast, but be a friend and treat them to something healthier for THEM. “Season” their usual dinner kibble with a hint of gravy, bits of turkey, vegetables or sweet potatoes. (“Season”, not heapin’ helpin’!) Maybe stuff it into a hollow chew toy to keep them distracted and happy (and away from your guests’ “helpful hands”) You can also distract them with other chew toys, Nylabones or pet friendly chewing toys so they stay active and out of the way.

And take your dogs with you for that after-meal stroll. The exercise is always needed and stretching their legs and giving them some attention on the walk will keep them calmer around all the guests and hectic energy crowds can sometime bring. Bone-A-Pet-eat!