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Thanksgiving Dangers: Tips to Prevent Common Problems in Your Dog

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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Thanksgiving is only a few days away. Maybe you have a dog or maybe you are expecting relatives to bring their dogs. Either way – here are common problems or emergencies that occur to dogs and associated with Thanksgiving. Knowing these, we will give you some tips to make your home safe for any pets in your home and these same tips may also make your guests more comfortable.

How can you make your home safe and "dog proof" to the common Thanksgiving dangers? Let's talk about them right now.

These tips are based on emergencies and problems veterinarians see on our around Thanksgiving. Please take special care with the following:

  • Prevent access to counter tops – some dogs and especially cats will jump up on to counters (cats) or pull thing off counters. This is so tempting to pets with the succulent smells of turkey and food. The hot stove and hot items on counters can cause severe burns. Hot burners can also cause tail and hair to catch on fire.

  • Safely dispose of the turkey string and foil– the string that wraps or ties turkey's legs is often haphazardly placed aside and found and eaten by dogs and cats. The same danger exists with the plastic turkey wrapper. Ingestion of these indigestible items can require life-saving surgery. Place string, aluminum foil, and turkey wrappers in a secure covered trashcan.

  • Take care with the fireplace – many times Thanksgiving is the first of the winter holidays and the first time the fireplace has been used. Take special care that pets stay away from the fire. It is a good idea to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home to ensure all heaters are adequately ventilated.

  • Careful with table scraps and food – some dogs and cats deal well with table scraps and others get stick. Small breed dogs can be especially sensitive and develop a disease called pancreatitis. This is especially true with high fat meals. Don't feed your pet the skins to get rid of them. If you feed anything – offer small amounts of vegetables or meat. Many deserts contain chocolate, which pets don't need. Don't feed your pets chocolate.

  • No Bones – bones can be dangerous to dogs. Don't feed your dog the bones. If you dispose of them in the trash – make sure the trash is secure from your pet.

  • Special care with candles – this is a wonderful occasion to light some beautiful candles. Only do this with the candles are supervised. Never leave the room with a burning candle. Pets can knock them over causing burns or house fires.

  • Beware liquid potpourri – this is another item that is commonly used during the holidays to give the home a wonderful aroma. The liquid potpourri can be very caustic to the gums and throat of ingested. Spray or plug in air fresheners may be a safer alternative.

    In addition, prevent your pet's access to any new cut flowers. Wash all bedding and vacuum like crazy. Doing this will also help clean, minimize the hair and make your home smell better.


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