Safe Thanksgiving Tips!!

thanksgivingpetsCome on, admit it. We’ve all done it. Eased back in a comfortable chair, relaxed, contemplated undoing a button or zipper… We sigh and say – “Oh, I ate waayy too much Thanksgiving dinner!”

Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity to get together with friends and family to share the things for which we are truly grateful. It can also be extremely stressful. We worry about timing the meals, diet restrictions, the “dreaded” in-laws, etc. But it can be very stressful for our pets as well: Too many people coming and going, unfamiliar noise and smells and who can resist all that food!

Here are some suggestions for making the holiday a safer and happier one for you and your furry family members:

  1. Stick to the schedule: Although you are probably juggling a dozen other things, feeding and exercising your pets at their regular times will help to decrease distress, prevent “accidents” and reassure your friend that he or she is not forgotten. And a walk is a valid excuse to get away for a quick breather!
  2.  Avoid table foods!: Probably the hardest to do, but the single best way to prevent potential gastric misadventure. If your pet rarely, or never, gets ‘people food’ this is not the weekend to experiment! Forestall well-intentioned relatives by telling them ahead of time that you don’t want to risk Fido or Fluffy getting sick.
  3. Bones and chocolate are bad!: At least, for cats and dogs, they can pose serious risk. Chocolate in a sufficient dose is toxic and bones can fragment and lodge in throats, stomachs and intestines. No one wants to spend Thanksgiving having emergency surgery, even the animals! Again, none is the safest amount, at least for the furry ones.
  4. Have a safe retreat: You may need one too, but we were thinking more along the lines of a spare room, the kennel in the laundry room or a bed out in the garage where your pet can safely be alone if things get too crowded, noisy or exciting. They don’t intend it, but scratches, nips or broken items often happen when our pets get over excited or defensive.
  5. Guest’s pets: If at all possible encourage guests to make other arrangements for their pets. Travelling to strange locations, people, etc can be very stressing, especially for cats. Introducing pets who have never met before requires attention, supervision and time. If someone absolutely has ‘to bring Snookums’, see point 4, for both pets.

Hopefully, we have provided some useful tips that will help make for a more relaxed and less stressful Thanksgiving for all.  Happy Holidays and don’t eat too much!


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