Thanksgiving Pet Safety

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season and with it comes an abundance of parties and get-togethers with friends and family.  While many of us celebrate the season over great food and drink, our festive spirit can be more stressful on our pets than we realize.  Like this cute kitty above, our furry friends may be in wide-eyed delight at the sight of a juicy bird, but their bellies will not be so thankful.  Before you sit down to your bountiful holiday meal, take a few minutes to read our tips for keeping your pets happy and healthy this Thanksgiving and throughout the entire holiday season.

Some of our favorite holiday indulgences can cause stomach upset, pancreatitis, or toxic poisoning in cats and dogs, even when given in small amounts. 

It’s best to keep their diet as normal as possible. If your pet is used to eating human food, offer some skinless, white turkey; plain veggies such as green beans are also a healthy option! Avoid feeding your pets the following foods and remind guests not to feed beggars from the table:

  • Fatty skins and gravy
  • Garlic and onions
  • Sage and other herbs
  • Raisins and grapes
  • Chocolate
  • Dishes and desserts made with artificial sweeteners, such as xylitol (For a real life case study on the extremely harmful effects of xylitol, read our blog post: The Counter-Surfing Canine: A Cautionary Tale.)
  • Turkey Bones – Pets can choke on pieces of bones or they may splinter when chewed.  Make sure to dispose of the bones where pets cannot get them or better yet, take out the trash before you sit down to eat!

Thanksgiving Pet Safety - Leesburg Veterinary Hospital

Reduce or prevent stress!

A bustling house of strangers can be very overwhelming for our pets.  Establish a quiet room specifically for your pets with their favorite comforts such as toys, catnip, blankets, and beds.  Before guests arrive, take your dog for a walk or run, or romp around with your cat to release extra energy.

Check IDs, collars, and keep doors closed!

Speaking of stress, an anxious pet may try to run out of the house as guest are coming and going.   Make sure your pets’ identification is up-to-date and securely attached to their collars.  Keep pets contained when doors are open.

Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for all of the wonderful people and pets in our lives – especially all of our clients and patients.  From all of the doctors and staff at Leesburg Veterinary Hospital, we wish all of you a blessed and bountiful holiday!

Thanksgiving 2016 Leesburg Veterinary Hospital 



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