This Thanksgiving, we hope that you get to spend lots of time with loved ones over delicious food!
But, as Freshpet friend and veterinarian Dr. Katy Nelson reminds us, there are some very important things to keep in mind this Thanksgiving in order to keep your fur-kid safe. We asked Dr. Katy to give us the inside scoop on what pet parents can do to prepare for the holiday. So, what tips does she have for us?
From Dr. Katy Nelson:
The holidays are about celebrating family and feasting on fresh food.
But it’s important to keep your pet’s safety in mind during the holidays…especially if you’re hosting! With so many friends and family members wandering around the house this Thanksgiving, there are many things to remember in order to keep your dog or cat out of harm’s way.
So what should you consider?
- Try and Keep Your Suitcases Closed: As we know all too well, our pets can be bad decision makers when it comes to eating things – and your suitcase can be a hot zone for unhealthy temptations. If you have medications, vitamins or cosmetics, be sure to zip them away in your suitcase as they can be very dangerous if ingested by your pet(s). In fact, the number one call to animal poison control every year is for human medications. Even dirty laundry full of smells, especially socks and underwear, can be enticing for pets. If they decide to eat them, this can lead to intestinal blockage and even (expensive) surgery. So do your best to remember to keep those suitcases closed and zipped.
- Handbags Should Be Out of Your Pet’s Reach: All female pet parents out there know that our handbags are full of wondrous items! While the sugar-free gum that we love so much is yummy to us, it contains a compound called Xylitol that can be deadly to pets. Snacks, especially those containing chocolate or nuts, can also be a major problem, especially for dogs. For those of us that like to keep hand sanitizer in our purses, keep in mind that the rubbing alcohol in those bottles can be extremely dangerous for our pets if they somehow manage to ingest some. So keep the handbags on your arm or up high so your pets don’t accidentally harm themselves.
- Keep An Eye On Doors and Windows: Thanksgiving often means having a lot of family around. While it’s great to have everyone together, this can create much coming and going, and thus doors opening and closing. Whether you are heading outside to greet, or for the Thanksgiving family touch football game, be sure you and your guests keep an eye on the door so that your furry friend doesn’t run outside without proper supervision. When in doubt, you can always put your pets in an animal-friendly room with plenty of food and water, litter, and toys to make the foot traffic less of an issue.
- Update Microchip Information: In the event that your pet does slip out of sight, it’s always a great idea to have your pet’s microchip information updated and the most current information on his/her collar tags. I’d recommend registering your pet’s microchip and information online with a service like HomeAgain. Checking that this information is up to date can help keep the entire family together (pets included) this Thanksgiving.
- Feeding From Plates or Tables Should Never Be Allowed: What can start out as an innocent treat from the table can turn into something much more serious. While you may be aware of your pet’s allergies and sensitivities, visiting guests may have no idea how much harm some of the Thanksgiving feast items can pose to your furry friend. Be sure to let your guests know of any specific intolerances that your dog or cat may have so they, too, can be cautious with food around your pets. Try keeping your pup satisfied while everyone else is eating by having a bag of Freshpet Dog Joy Sweet Potato Chews handy. After all, they’re in the spirit of Thanksgiving, too!
I’ve worked in the veterinary emergency room on many Thanksgivings before and have seen just about everything – from dogs swallowing underwear to pets stealing the turkey. But if you follow these tips this Thanksgiving, you and your pet will likely have a stress-free Thanksgiving so you can focus on what this holiday is all about: family and food.
Have a Happy (and safe) Thanksgiving!
Dr Katy Nelson