Thanksgiving Feast Safety

cat laying on a dog

A hearty portion of safety tips.

  • Forget the Fat: Fatty or rich foods like beef fat, poultry skin, and gravy can cause severe gastrointestinal issues in pets. If you want to treat your pet, it’s best to stick to a pet treat or a couple of small bites of lean poultry or unsalted/unbuttered vegetables.
  • Bad to the Bone: Bones are bad—especially those from your holiday bird. They can easily break apart and splinter, causing serious damage to your pet’s digestive system. They can also be a choking hazard.
  • Protect from Packaging: Meat packaged in plastic holders, bags, and strings can smell delicious to your pet. But, once ingested, these items can cause damage or intestinal blockage.
  • Don’t Take Chances with Chocolate: Chocolate is dangerous for dogs in particular because it contains theobromine, a caffeine-like ingredient that can be toxic to your pet. Keep your pet away from dark, semisweet, and baker’s chocolate because they contain higher levels of theobromine.

Tasty tips for a safer holiday season.

Thanksgiving is a time for families and friends to come together and celebrate—pets included. However, there can be hidden dangers for your pet during this festive time. This list of common Thanksgiving hazards for dogs and cats can help you take precautions and avoid a holiday emergency.

  • Scrap the Scraps: It’s important to ask that young children and adult guests refrain from feeding pets during your feast. While it’s tempting to treat your dog to a helping of the holiday meal, this can lead to vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Take Out the Garbage: The trash bin can be appealing to a pet, especially when the contents are bits of food. Even the most well-behaved pet can be tempted. Make sure that all garbage and food waste is out of your pet’s reach.
  • Beware of Burns: We all love those wonderful smells that come from what’s cooking in the oven or on the stove, and your pet is no exception. When cooking, keep your pet far from the oven or stove to prevent burns or other accidents from occurring.
  • Skip the Drip: Many people grill during the holidays, and the drippings can be irresistible for your pet. Grill drippings are usually fatty meat scraps that contain large amounts of grease—presenting a risk for pancreatitis when eaten. Make sure that any spills are cleaned up so that your pet doesn’t ingest them. If you plan on grilling or frying your turkey, make sure that your pet is far away from the cooking area.