Oh, November… where would we be without you? The turkey; the stuffing; the cat licking gravy off your toddler’s foot; the day of maxing out your credit card because nothing says I LOVE YOU, HAPPY HOLIDAYS like consumerism. Wait, sorry, we misspelled consumption. A turkey bone just fell on the floor. Your cat ate it. You’re getting a vet bill for Christmas this year. Surprise!
Obviously, Sparky or Mittens getting sick on Thanksgiving is the world’s worst digestif (although Hákarl could really give it a run for its money). Since we don’t want that for you, here are some ways to keep your Turkey Day from turning, well… foul.
Visitors Unwelcome? You might like your gatherings big and boisterous, but not all of your animals will be inclined to agree. Holidays can be tricky for some pets. Having their home overrun with unfamiliar faces and loud noises is the perfect recipe for anxiety, so make sure they have a safe space for them to retreat to away from all the hubbub. Stock it up with a new toy or two to keep them occupied, and make sure to check up on them every now and then to see how they are doing.
Keep in mind that dog bites are more common around the holidays, so even if your pup is a social butterfly, you should still monitor her anxiety levels — especially if there are children around. A dog bite lawsuit is not something to be grateful for.
Keep Kitty Clear. The kitchen is an alluring place for pets — all of those delicious smells wafting through the house. What better place to score some snacks than their source, right? Think again. On any other day of the year having Whiskers on the counter or Fido underfoot would be a non-issue, put cooking for Thanksgiving is a carefully coordinated ballet of dumpster fire management. There is just SO. MUCH. GOING. ON. The risk that your pet might get burned, stepped on, or accidentally gobble down something they shouldn’t is just too high. Leave the calamity of holiday cooking to the people.
Nix the Noshes. A few nibbles of cooked turkey or plain mashed potatoes don’t have to be completely off the table, but in general it’s best to keep the people food to a minimum. The salty, fatty staples you love so much can easily upset your pet’s stomach, and along with too much turkey, have the potential to cause a dangerous condition called pancreatitis.
Many Thanksgiving dishes also have ingredients that pets should stay away from, including garlic, onions, chives, ham, dairy, grapes (and raisins), and certain kinds of nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, macadamia). If your potatoes, stuffing, salad, or sides have any of these foods, keep them away from the table. Fallen scraps will be too tempting for them to resist.
Few more things to avoid: desserts (especially anything with chocolate or xylitol, and any leftover bones. Bird bones specifically are quite brittle and can shatter when bitten into. If your pet gets into any of these things, it’s best to play it safe and call the vet right away. Don’t take any chances.
Uh-Oh Bread Dough. Learned this one the hard way. If yeasted bread dough will be a part of your spread this year, make sure you let it rise FAR out of reach of your pet. Advises the ASPCA, “When a dog or cat ingests raw bread dough, the yeast continues to convert the sugars in the dough to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol. This can result in bloated drunken pets, which could become a life-threatening emergency, requiring hospitalization.”
Pets give us so many things to be grateful for, which is why a safe and happy Thanksgiving should never just for the humans in your life. It also has to be for your four-legged friends! Pups in particular have a peculiar way of turning Turkey Day into a celebration of Visa and Mastercard. How about that entire tray of raw dinner buns you left rising on the counter? Welp, three-fourths of them are now inside the dog. D’oh! (FYI: True story. Nothing that a few vet-recommended tablespoons of 3% hydrogen peroxide couldn’t fix.)
Have a serious injury and need legal advice?
Contact Howard Blau.
Ventura County’s Favorite Law Office
Check Out These References for Further Reading:
“Thanksgiving Safety Tips.” ASPCA. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
“People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets.” ASPCA. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
“Thanksgiving Pet Safety.” American Veterinary Medical Association. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
“How to Make a Dog Throw Up.” American Kennel Club. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
“Dog Bite Prevention.” American Veterinary Medical Association. Retrieved 18 November 2019.