Thanksgiving Hazards for Pets

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Thanksgiving Planning with Pets: Potential Holiday Hazards

Thanksgiving is a wonderful day to share kindness and gratitude with family and friends. But these plans can throw off ours and our pets’ daily routine. The last thing we want to deal with this holiday season is an emergency veterinary visit.  So let’s go over some pet health and safety tips to remember this Thanksgiving holiday.


Reminder: Holiday Treats can be Dangerous

  • Thanksgiving and holiday food can be fatty. Even eating a small amount of a high fat food can cause a pet to have pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is painful and requires veterinary attention. A small bite of turkey meat or turkey skin can cause a pet to have pancreatitis, diarrhea, or an upset stomach. So play it safe and don’t feed it to your pet.
  • There are foods that are fine for people but are poisonous to our pets. Chocolate, onions, raisins, grapes, and the artificial sweetener Xylitol are just some of the dangerous foods for our pets to ingest.
  • Trash is also a source of danger for our pets. The garbage will not only contain some of the left-over dangerous foods but it will also contain objects that could cause problems if ingestion. (Think poultry bones, string, and plastic wrap.) Consider keeping all the garbage outside in your large bins so pets can’t get to them or in a room where pets have no access.
  • Plants used as decorations for Thanksgiving can also cause problems if your pet eats or chews on them. Some common plants that are hazardous to pets are poinsettias, lilies, baby’s breath, and hydrangeas.
  • If you are hosting Thanksgiving celebrations, be sure to tell your guests that treating your pet is a no-no. While you know what is dangerous for your pet, your guests may not.


Plan Ahead: Being Prepared Will Help

  • Get your pet’s microchip information updated! If you haven’t done so already, check to be sure you have your current information registered with your pet’s microchip company.
  • Also be sure that your pet is wearing ID tags with updated contact numbers on them. That way if your pet accidentally gets separated from you, they will have a good chance at returning home.
  • Remember that most regular veterinarians will be closed on Thanksgiving or will have holiday hours! Emergency facilities will be open around the clock so have the closest emergency veterinarian’s address and contact information posted somewhere in case of a holiday emergency.
  • And check with your regular veterinarian about their holiday hours so that you can pick up any medications or food your pet will need before Thanksgiving.

The ASPCA has helpful information. Below are links for the list of plants that are poisonous to dogs and cats. We have also included the ASPCA poison control website (see the site for the hotline phone number) in case of an emergency.

Poisonous Plants for Dogs

Poisonous Plants for Cats

ASPCA Poison Control


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