Thanksgiving is right around the corner. You can almost smell the Turkey cooking in the oven and the smell of fresh pies wafting throughout the house. For people, Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to eat and spend time with family and friends. A time to watch some football on TV or the Macy’s Parade or maybe Planes, Trains, and Automobiles — for the 15th time. But if you have pets or are hosting family members or friends that have pets, Thanksgiving can present some dangers that you need to be aware of. This post will present some common problems or emergencies that pets can encounter during Thanksgiving celebrations, as well as some tips for how to prevent them, and what to do if something happens.
Prevent Access to Countertops & Oven
When you’re cooking and preparing the Thanksgiving meal, you’ll want to be careful about the food you’re leaving on the countertops. Between setting the table, stirring the gravy, basting the turkey and checking on the cornbread, you’re not going to have the bandwidth to keep an eye on whether or not your cat or dog has jumped onto the countertop and gotten into some food that they shouldn’t.
It’s best to prevent access to countertops entirely for your pets. Put Sparky and Mr. Kitty in the basement or in a bedroom while you’re preparing supper. Much in the way that the enticing stench of a juicy turkey attracts Uncle Bill off the couch and into the kitchen to take a peek at what’s cooking, so to will the smell bring in your pets. Animals correlate the way smell of food with the taste of food. Many of the foods that are served at Thanksgiving will cause digestive issues to your pets.
In addition to the dangers that are present for your pets trying to digest the Thanksgiving foods, there are dangers of them getting too close to the hot stove and oven. The smell emitting from the stovetop and the over will also entice your pets to have a peek. Cats especially can get too close to the over and burn themselves or cinch their whiskers. It’s best to keep them out of harm’s way and prevent them from the temptation of having a taste of the yummy-smelling food. Like ovens and stovetops, be careful with candles. Only do this with the candles are supervised. Never leave the room that your pets have access to with a burning candle. Pets can knock them over, particularly curious cats, causing burns or house fires.
Table Scraps and Disposing of Food
It can be tempting not to give your pets some table scraps when they’re sitting near you looking up with their adorable eyes. But during Thanksgiving, and any other meal, you’ll want to be careful with table scraps and food. Not all table scraps are harmful to pets, but it’s better to play it on the safe side. Small breed dogs can be especially sensitive and develop a disease called pancreatitis, which is caused by eating high-fat food. It is recommended that you don’t feed your pets from the table, but if you feed anything, offer small amounts of vegetables or meat. Though, with meat makes sure that there aren’t any bones in the meat and do not give your dog the turkey bones to play with. Bones can be dangerous to dogs. Sugary foods such as pies should especially be avoided.
Any dog owner knows, that just because you throw some food away, that doesn’t mean that your dog won’t find a way to have a taste. Safely dispose of the turkey string and foil once you’re finished with dinner– 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 an unfortunate visit to an emergency veterinary clinic for life-saving surgery. Place string, aluminum foil, and turkey wrappers in a secure covered trash can.
Inform Your Guests & Family Members
It’s not enough for you as the pet owner to know about the potential dangers for your pets that linger during Thanksgiving. It’s important that everyone is in the loop. Make sure you communicate to everyone to avoid feeding table scraps to pets and to help prevent the animals from getting access to the kitchen.
Even the safest and most cautious group of Thanksgiving celebrators can’t prevent all potential accidents to your pets. They’re called accidents because they occur unexpectedly. You’ll want to check with your vet ahead of time to see whether or not they’re open during the holiday weekend. If their clinic is closed, ask for a recommendation to a veterinary clinic that is open during the holidays. If something happens that requires you to take your pet to an urgent care facility during the holidays, you’re going to want to have a plan of action in place. Without a plan in place, you’ll be frantically calling clinics and searching online to find one that is open.
We wish that you, your family, and all the furry friends you celebrate the holiday with have a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving. By taking precautions with the access your pets have to the kitchen, avoiding the temptation to give your pets table scraps, and by communicating with your guests and having a plan in case of an emergency, you’ll be on your way to a safe and joyous Thanksgiving.