Thursday, November 15, 2012

Be Thankful for Pets – Celebrate Wisely

Via PR Newswire - Thanksgiving is a holiday for feasts, family and friends. But put the family pet into the middle of that mix, and you may just be asking for trouble. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) offers the following tips to pet owners to keep this holiday safe for four-legged guests:

Your Thanksgiving feast is for people – not pets. Table scraps may seem like a fun way to include your pet in the holiday, but many foods are poisonous to pets, including onions, garlic, raisins and grapes. If you believe your pet has been poisoned, call your veterinarian or local veterinary emergency clinic immediately.

Just because it's dead, doesn't mean it's not deadly. A turkey carcass left in an open trash container could prove deadly if the family pet finds it. A pet can quickly eat so much that it causes a condition called pancreatitis, which is extremely dangerous and can cause death fairly quickly. Dispose of turkey carcasses in a covered, tightly secured container.

Desserts and pets don't mix. Most people understand that chocolate is poisonous to pets, but an artificial sweetener called Xylitol has also been shown to be just as deadly to dogs. Xylitol is a common sweetener used in baked goods. So play it safe and don't share your dessert with Fido or Fluffy.

For some pets, houseguests can be scary. Some pets are shy or excitable around new people, and Thanksgiving often means new people will be visiting. If you know your dog or cat can be overwhelmed when people come over, put them in another room or a crate so they're out of the frenzy and feel safe. You might even want to consider boarding them to remove them completely from this upsetting situation.

Decorations can be dangerous. As you dress your Thanksgiving table with a centerpiece and flowers, remember to keep them up and away from your pets. Some decorations look good enough to eat, and pets may decide to have a taste. Depending on the flower or decoration, this can result in stomach upset or worse.

Fire and pets make a bad combination. Dinner by candlelight can provide an elegant atmosphere for a holiday meal. And what isn't cozy about having a fire in the fireplace when guests arrive? But where there's a flame, there's the opportunity for disaster. Make sure you're careful to keep pets away from any open flame or fire. No amount of elegance or coziness will make up for an injured loved one or a house that's burnt to the ground.

The AVMA has a video of useful tips on how to keep pets healthy and safe during the holidays. For more information about pet health and safety, visit


  1. Thanks for passing on some sensible info many are lacking sometimes

  2. These are important to keep in mind. A long time ago I went out of town and left my cat Santana (he was a gift) with my brothers.

    When I came back I was told he died of food poisoning.

    I had food poisoning once. The irony is that the food I ate was from a whole foods type restaurant.

    I now have 6 cats, who adopted ME. It would be painful for me to see anyone of them contract food poisoning. It's a nightmare.