Tips for a Happy Thanksgiving with Your Furry Family
Six Tips for a Happy Thanksgiving with Your Furry Family
Thanksgiving festivities mean friends, family and food, food, food. But the ingredients for a happy human holiday can be distressing, and even dangerous, for pets. ASPCA experts shared some tips to keep your four-legged friends safe and happy this Thanksgiving.
A little bite of plain turkey is usually OK for pets, ASPCA experts say. If you decide to feed your pet a nibble of plain turkey, make sure it's boneless, well-cooked and doesn't contain fat or gristle, says Dr. Louise Murray, Director of Medicine at the ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. Don't offer your pet raw or undercooked turkey-it could contain salmonella bacteria.
You're probably aware that chocolate is toxic to dogs, and you might know that raisins and grapes should be kept far from canine companions. But not everyone knows about the dangers of xylitol, a sweetener and baking ingredient found in many types of gum, mints, candy and pastries. Consuming a little bit of xylitol can give a dog seizures, low blood sugar and liver failure and can be fatal, says Dr. Murray. If any of the sweets you serve this Thanksgiving contain xylitol-or chocolate or raisins-keep them clear of Fido.
Sweets aren't the only danger the holidays pose for furry tummies. At this cooking-heavy time of year, it can't hurt to consult this list of foods you should not share. Alcohol, onions, yeast dough and macadamia nuts can all lead to stomach upset, diarrhea or pancreatitis. And sage, part of many stuffing recipes, can cause pets to suffer stomach upset and possible depression of the central nervous system.
Flowers to Weed Out
Be careful with holiday floral arrangements. Lilies are commonly used this time of year, and all varieties, including Tiger, Asian, Japanese Show, Stargazer and Casa Blanca, can cause kidney failure in cats. Ifyour dog or cat accidentally ingests flowers or any potentially harmful products, please consult your veterinarian or the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 or www.aspca.org/apcc.
Let's face it: your pets are adorable, and guests may want to lavish them with attention. But guests can also cause pets stress and increase the risk that they'll escape out the door. If you're expecting a lot of company, make sure guests refrain from feeding your pets and keep the front door shut. Or -better yet- Dr. Murray recommends sequestering furry friends someplace safe like a bedroom or study.
Feast Fit for a Kong
While the humans are chowing down, give your pets their own little feast. Stuff their usual dinner - with a few added bits of turkey, dribbles of gravy or vegetables like sweet potato and green beans - inside a Kong toy. They'll be happily occupied trying to get their meal out, and way too busy to come begging for table scraps.
Check out our extended list of Thanksgiving pet tips at www.ASPCA.org, and have a safe and happy holiday weekend!