Holiday gatherings are a wonderful time to spend with friends and family, especially when mouthwatering food is involved. As you plan your Thanksgiving feast and festivities, keep your pet in mind. After all, you want all your family members present, four-legged ones included. For a peaceful Thanksgiving celebration that you can count among your blessings, follow our Tidmore Veterinary Hospital team’s tips for pet safety.

Dish up a pet-friendly feast

One of the most anticipated Thanksgiving events is the feasting that takes place the better part of the day. While your pet was likely underfoot in the kitchen during all the prep work, they have now moved under the table, waiting for falling morsels. However, many of those morsels are toxic to pets, so dish up a pet-friendly plate that does not contain any dangerous ingredients.

 Swap people food with the following menu items for a pet-safe feast:

  • Turkey — Ditch the drumstick, which can cause pancreatitis or a gastrointestinal (GI) obstruction, and serve your pet a few bites of boneless, skinless, unseasoned turkey breast as a healthy treat.
  • Potatoes — Instead of buttery mashed potatoes loaded with chives, offer your pet some plain steamed or mashed sweet potatoes. Dehydrated sweet potato strips are also flavorful, nutrient-packed chews for your four-legged friend.
  • Green beans — Bacon, onions, and other seasonings are often added to spice up green beans, but they’re tasty on their own. Give your pet plain steamed green beans, or offer a few straight from the can.
  • Corn — Remove the corn from the cob before you add corn to your pet’s plate, because the cob can become an obstruction. Also, ensure the corn is butter- and seasoning-free.
  • Dessert — Skip the chocolate and sugar-free treats that contain dangerous methylxanthines and xylitol, and spoil your pet with a bit of Greek yogurt instead.

Take out the trash

When the trash bag becomes more stuffed than you are after the Thanksgiving feast, it’s past time to empty the bin. Your four-legged friend may be tempted to nose off the trash can lid to get to the Thanksgiving scraps. Regularly empty your trash can to prevent your pet from getting to the following hazardous waste items:

  • Food preparation items — Aluminum foil, plastic wrappers, twine, and turkey brine will fill your trash bag before you start pitching unwanted leftovers. While these items aren’t the most appetizing, they’ll still attract a peckish pet.
  • Food scraps — Turkey and ham bones, corncobs, and the raisins picked out of the stuffing will certainly attract a hungry hound. You may also see your opportunistic, dumpster-diving cat running off with a giant turkey drumstick for their own Thanksgiving feast.
  • Food leftovers — The last bites of mashed potatoes, gravy, and sweet potato casserole can make their way into the trash can if you absolutely cannot stomach another plate of leftovers. However, your pet would be overjoyed to make their own plate of unwanted leftovers.

Give your pet space

If you host a holiday meal, you may have guests in your home for several days, which can unsettle your pet, making them anxious and uncomfortable. Ensure they have their own safe space, and ask your guests to leave them in peace. When your pet is one of the crowd, ensure guests know not to approach your pet and to let the pet come to them for attention. 

Set up your pet’s quiet place with cozy bedding, a favorite plush toy, a long-lasting chew, and a treat puzzle. Create a soothing environment with species-specific pheromones (i.e., Feliway, Adaptil), white noise, and minimal interruptions.

Travel with care

The most well-laid holiday travel plans can go awry, but planning and preparation can ensure smooth sailing for you and your pet. Keep the following tips in mind when traveling—with or without your pet—this Thanksgiving:

  • Book early — Boarding facilities, pet sitters, and pet-friendly hotels fill up early around the holidays, so book your spot as soon as you know your travel plans.
  • Update necessary health care — Depending on where you are traveling and your pet’s needs, you may need to schedule an appointment for parasite screening, vaccinations, and a health certificate. Timeframes vary for these services—for example, your pet may need vaccinations two weeks prior to a boarding stay, or a health certificate completed 48 hours or less before your departure.
  • Verify contact information — Ensure that your contact information on your pet’s collar ID tags and microchip registration is current and correct, so you can be reached in case you are separated.
  • Pack wisely — Pack your pet’s necessities, including food, medications, vaccination records, toys, blankets, and calming aids, to help ensure your trip is enjoyable and comfortable. 

Let our Tidmore Veterinary Hospital team take one thing off your plate this Thanksgiving by handling your pet’s preventive care. Give us a call to schedule your pet’s visit for vaccinations, parasite prevention refills, or a health certificate for holiday traveling.