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  • How to Avoid Thanksgiving Pet Emergencies

    How to Avoid Thanksgiving Pet Emergencies

    Thanksgiving is a time of celebration, but it isn’t without some risks to your pet. Emergencies often occur when we least expect them, but fortunately there are some things that you can do to help prevent them. Here are our top tips for avoiding Thanksgiving pet emergencies.

    Avoid Poisoning

    One of the biggest threats to your pet this Thanksgiving is poisoning. With a table laden with delicious foods, it is understandable to want to share the delights with your pet. However, while there are plenty of human foods that it is safe to share with your furbaby, there are equally as many that he really shouldn’t be eating because they can make him quite sick. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you keep all of your Thanksgiving foods well away from your pet this year.


    Some of the key poison risks for your pet include the following:


    -         Fatty meats, turkey and skins. Not only are they hard for your furry friend to digest, eating turkey or turkey skin can cause pancreatitis – a condition which can be life-threatening.

    -         Onion. A key ingredient in many items that might be on your Thanksgiving table but is very toxic to animals.

    -         Desserts. Many shop-bought desserts contain Xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is also found in most candies and sugar-free gums. Xylitol is very harmful to pets and can be deadly, even in small quantities. Chocolate is equally as dangerous too, whether consumed on its own or as an ingredient in something else.

    -         Grapes are often served up with cheese and meat platters, but few people realize that they are toxic to animals, as are raisins too.

    -         Yeast dough can cause health problems including trapped gas and dangerous bloating for your furbaby.

    -         Alcohol. Alcohol tends to be flowing fairly freely for many households during Thanksgiving, but it should be kept well away from any animals you have. Alcohol has exactly the same effects on them as it does a human, but their small stature and natural intolerance to it means that they are much more pronounced – and dangerous. Keep all alcoholic beverages well out of reach of your pets.

    -         Caffeinated drinks. Your pet is more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than you are and just a small amount can make your furry friend very sick. Hot drinks can also put your pet at risk of being burnt!


    As well as the poisonous items listed above, you should be equally as vigilant about ensuring that your pet doesn’t have access to poultry. It may be a delicious treat for him, but if there are any bones inside, even small ones, it could present a serious and potentially fatal choking hazard.


    Make sure that everyone visiting your home this Thanksgiving knows not to share their food with your pets, and to be hyper-vigilant in not leaving food and beverages around where your furbaby might access them.

    Be decoration savvy

    Decorating your home is one of the most fun preparations for Thanksgiving, but not everything pretty is safe to have around pets. Never leave your furbaby in a room alone with an open fire or lit candle, and ensure all electrical cords for lights and displays are well tucked away. Many owners prefer not to use pine cones, needles and other similar items since their pet may be tempted to eat them and they could cause damage to his digestive system as well as making him sick.

    Making your pet feel secure

    Your pet might ordinarily be a very social creature, but if you are entertaining a lot of people this Thanksgiving, your home – his home – can quickly become somewhere that feels unfamiliar and even intimidating. If this happens then he may do everything he can to escape your property. You will need to ensure that your home is as secure as possible, and that your furbaby is located somewhere that he cannot get out. Even if you have a cat that normally goes outdoors, you may want to keep him in over Thanksgiving when there are a lot of unfamiliar things going on. If he is stressed when he leaves, he is more likely to act impulsively, and this increases the chances that he will be involved in an accident or sustain an injury.


    One of the best ways to help you furbaby feel comfortable is to ensure that he has a quiet, safe space that he can retreat to where he will be left alone if it all gets a bit much for him. Choose a quiet room in the house where you can put a crate or his bed, his favorite blankets and toys and some food and drink. Check on him often and at the end of the event, reward him with plenty of love.


    If you would like further advice and support on the best way to avoid pet emergencies this Thanksgiving, our knowledgeable team would be happy to offer their expertise. Please don’t hesitate to call our Poway, CA clinic and find out how to get fully prepared for a safe Thanksgiving with your pet.