Thanksgiving officially kicks off the holiday season. With all of the trimmings and festivities of this time of year, it can be easy to forget that things can get stressful and even dangerous for our pets. Here are a few tips to help keep your fur babies happy and safe during the holidays.

Limit visitors. At least be aware of your pet’s stress levels when visitors come ringing your doorbell. Some pets become anxious or stressed when unfamiliar people seemingly invade their space. Others might even try to flee out the front door when unsuspecting visitors open it. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Be sure all your pets are microchipped and wearing identification collars. Ensure your microchips are registered and up to date.
  • Put pets that don’t like visitors or unfamiliar sights and sounds in a closed bedroom or basement, away from the holiday shenanigans, with a plug-in pheromone diffuser and calming music.

Limit table scraps. While it’s typically best to forgo feeding table scraps to your dog or cat, many pet owners have a tough time resisting those sweet, begging, puppy-dog eyes. If you’re one of them, remember this:

  • Unless your turkey is boneless, skinless, and cooked in nothing but water, avoid feeding it to your pets from the table. Turkey and turkey skin can cause pancreatitis in pets, which can be life-threatening.
  • Potatoes are a healthy and nutritious vegetable for humans and pets alike. But, when mashed with butter, sour cream, cheese, onions, garlic, or gravy, they’re not a safe option for your pet (and you should probably enjoy in moderation, too). Similarly, most veggies that are healthy on their own (think green beans, carrots, and more) can be enjoyed without all the extra ingredients often found in their holiday casseroles.
  • Say “no” to artificial sweeteners, which can be toxic to pets.
  • Chocolate and other desserts are for you and your human buddies only. 
  • Your pet should never consume alcohol. And, be aware of unexpected dishes that might contain it, like fruitcake.
  • Stay away from grapes and raisins, which can cause kidney failure in dogs.

We want to help you be comfortable with keeping your pet safe this holiday season. Contact us if you have any questions or concerns. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at The Goodland Pet Hospital!