The Dangers of Feeding Thanksgiving Table Scraps to Your Pets
Who doesn’t love a Thanksgiving feast? It’s such a joyous time of year when family comes together. Family also means pets, but be careful of what you feed them as holiday table scraps can be very dangerous.
Some of the worst things for pets include fatty foods, turkey bones and sweets, according to the article, “Thanksgiving pet safety” at American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The article offers tips:
• Keep people food on the table and away from pets. Turkey and the skin can be very dangerous. Other holiday foods are poisonous for pets, including onions, raisins and grapes.
• Pets and people desserts don’t go hand in hand. Chocolate poses a danger while xylitol, an artificial sweetener, can be deadly too.
• Stay away from yeast dough. It can cause gas and bloating in pets.
• Keep trash out of reach.
• Decorative plants and flowers can be toxic to pets. The ASPCA offers a list of toxic plants for dogs and cats.
• If you feel your pet has eaten something poisonous, immediately call your vet or call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline at: 888-426-4435.
Keep a close eye on your pets and also keep them away from alcoholic drinks that may be left unattended, according to the article, “Thanksgiving Safety Tips” at ASPCA.org.
Some things you can give your pet include a small piece of boneless, well-cooked turkey. “Do not give your pet the left over carcass–the bones can be problematic for the digestive tract,” the ASPCA article said.
Prepare your dog or cat with their own Thanksgiving dinner to enjoy. That can include chew bones for pets or their own dinner with extras, “perhaps with a few added tidbits of turkey, vegetables (try sweet potato or green beans) and dribbles of gravy—inside a food puzzle toy,” the ASPCA article said.
Keep Pets Safe When Holiday Guests Stop Over
The holidays are a great time for family and friends but not always for pets. If you’re hosting family dinners and gatherings, it could make your dog or cat feel uncomfortable in their own home. While everyone wants to have a great time, it’s very important to keep your pets safe and comfortable.
With the influx of guests, gifts, house plants and flowers, and various food dishes, there are ways to keep your pets safe.
Make sure to hang up your guests’ coats and put their purses and other belongings out of reach of your pets, according to the article, “Pet Safety – When Holiday Houseguests Come to Visit,” at Preventive Vet. This way your pet can’t get into a pocket that has dangerous items such as medications, sugar-free gum (xylitol) or even cigarettes.
Some pets become exceptionally nervous when routines change, including when there are many visitors. “Stress in pets can lead to vomiting and diarrhea, inappropriate eliminations outside of litter boxes, decreased appetite, intense itchiness, urinary obstruction (particularly in male cats), hiding, running away, and a variety of other problems that can cause your cat (and you) a lot of grief,” the article said.
But you don’t have to cancel the holidays. Instead, offer your pet a safe place to go to while you can continue your holiday festivities. “For dogs, this may be a room of their own, or a kennel away from all of the hustle and bustle,” according to the ASPCA article, “Hosting Holiday Guests? Keep Your Pets Happy and Healthy Around Visitors.” Cats can use a spare bedroom with a litter box and water dish.
It’s important to let visiting children and your own children know to respect any pet’s safe area and leave the dog or cat alone, the ASPCA article said.
Keep Your Pet Busy While You Head Back to the Office
After well over a year of working from home, many are heading back to the office. Remember to take your pets into consideration. Many have been home with their humans and things are going to change.
According to American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), there are things you can do to prepare your pet for when you head back to work. AVMA tips include:
• Get your pet slowly back to workday routines including waking up, feeding your dog or cat, and going on a walk. Include a departure time.
• To make things less stressful, “Practice short departures on a daily basis and gradually extend the time you are gone,” the AVMA said. Use small treats for praise.
• Use exercise, play and activities to help your pet burn energy.
• Leave food puzzles, automatic feeders and long-lasting treats.
• Explore a crate and see whether it’s beneficial while you’re gone.
• “Excessive barking or whining, agitation, destructive behavior and inappropriate urination/defecation can all be signs of stress,” the AVMA said.
• Talk to your vet about concerning behavior.
Have a routine so as not to cause separation anxiety. “Ensure that the routine you set is the same one you will follow once you go back to work,” according to the article, “How to Prepare your Pet for Post-Pandemic Going Back to Work” at Petmate.com. “This will allow your pet to get used to the changed lifestyle.”
Change your pet’s feeding place to help with separation anxiety. Feed him in a room that’s not near you. “Gradually, your pet may learn that being separated from you can be a pleasurable experience,” the Petmate article said.
Another option is daycare for your pet. Check out the doggie day care options at Second Home Pet Resort, which can be a big help for pets while you’re at work.