Thanksgiving is a time of joy, gratitude, and abundant food. As a pet owner, you know that tempting dishes like turkey, pumpkin pie, mashed potato, and other goodies can make your furry friends drool with anticipation. While sharing some of your holiday meal with your pets may seem like an act of love, most human foods can be harmful or even fatal to your pets. To keep your pets happy and healthy this Thanksgiving, here are some essential tips to consider.
Keep the Festive Food Out of Paws’ Reach
As tempting as it may seem to share your turkey, stuffing, and other holiday foods with your pets, it’s best to avoid doing so. Many human foods such as chocolate, nuts, grapes, onion, garlic, and raisins can be toxic to pets and cause severe health problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, kidney failure, or worse. Additionally, fatty foods can trigger pancreatitis, a life-threatening condition that requires emergency veterinary care. So, keep all holiday foods out of your pets’ reach, and ensure garbage cans are securely closed to avoid scavenging.
Provide Pet-Safe Alternatives
Instead of letting your pets indulge in human foods, give them some pet-friendly alternatives that are nutritious and satisfying. For instance, you can offer them some steamed vegetables, sweet potatoes, or pumpkin puree. You can also buy some pet-friendly foods that mimic the taste and texture of holiday foods, such as turkey pet food, grain-free kibble, or dental chews.
Manage Visitors’ Contact with Your Pets
If you’re inviting friends and family to your Thanksgiving dinner, make sure to manage their contact with your pets, particularly if your pets are shy or anxious. Some pets may feel agitated by a crowded and noisy environment, or they may become territorial with strangers. Ensure your pets have a quiet and safe place to retreat to when they feel overwhelmed, such as a separate room or a comfortable bed. Also, remind your guests not to feed your pets from the dinner table, and to ask for permission before petting them.
Stay Vigilant for Signs of Stress or Illness
Even if you follow all the precautions, some pets may still get anxious or sick during the Thanksgiving festivities. Watch out for signs of stress, such as hiding, excessive meowing or barking, or trembling. Also, look for signs of indigestion or poisoning, such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or unusual behavior. If you notice any of these signs, take your pet to the vet immediately.
Show Your Pets Some Special Love and Attention
Finally, ensure that you show your pets some extra love and attention during the Thanksgiving period. Despite the distractions and busy schedules, set aside some time to walk, play, or snuggle with your pets. You can also buy them some new toys, a cozy bed, or a warm blanket to show them your love and gratitude.
Thanksgiving can be a joyful and memorable experience for you and your pets if you take appropriate precautions and show them love and attention. Keep the festive food out of paws’ reach, provide pet-safe alternatives, manage visitors’ contact with your pets, stay vigilant for signs of stress or illness, and show your pets some special love and attention. With these tips, you can make sure your pets are happy and healthy during this festive season.