Monday, November 15, 2010

Thanksgiving Hazards for Household Pets

By Suzanne Alicie

Thanksgiving is coming up soon. We all know what that means – indulging in all kinds of traditional foods and desserts, visiting with family, and enjoying the blessings of all we have. As enjoyable as Thanksgiving is for humans, the holiday offers many dangers for our household pets. As a responsible pet owner, there are things you should watch out for with dogs and cats in the house on Thanksgiving.

The following items are hazards that could cause you to end up spending the holiday evening at the vet’s office or the emergency pet hospital instead of watching the football game with your family.

1. Many Thanksgiving foods are bad for your pets. The main foods to make sure your pets don’t eat are turkey and turkey bones. Turkey contains L-Tryptophan which is known to induce sleeping. Because of the size of your pets’ body this can lead to listlessness and lethargy. The real danger is in the turkey bones, which can cause intestinal obstructions, punctures, tears and internal bleeding. Turkey bones, like most other poultry bones, splinter and have jagged edges. For more information, read Foods You Should Never Feed Your Dog.

2. Guests and pets don’t always mix well. If there are small children who may upset your pet in their excitement, or guests who may be allergic or just not “pet people,” keeping your pet confined away from the guests is probably the best choice for the day. Many times even calm and friendly pets get a little nervous when the house is full of people and children. The noise and activity could lead to a scratching, hissing cat or a snapping and growling dog.

3. The kitchen can be dangerous place for your pet to be, with hot dishes everywhere and people bustling around to get the Thanksgiving dinner on the table. Pets in a busy kitchen can get accidentally stepped on and tripped over. Again, confining your pet in another room for the day is the best choice for his health and the safety of the people in the kitchen.

4. If you have to sequester your pets for the day, they may be feeling a little left out. Give them something special by providing a healthy treat such as CANIDAE Snap-Bits™ as you visit them throughout the day. You could even prepare a small Thanksgiving treat for your pet, making sure to avoid the dangerous foods that you have on the table. Avoid fat trimmings and foods that pets shouldn’t eat, and don’t go overboard. A few bites is plenty and won’t cause stomach upset.

Keep both your pets and your guests safe and healthy through the holiday season by practicing common sense and doing everything you can to ensure your pet’s comfort during this time. The upheaval of being confined, of lots of different smells and voices in the house and not being able to have their normal routine can cause your pet to act out, or feel resentment. Be sure to praise your pet when they’re behaving, and visit with them often throughout the day.

No matter how many guests you have, your pet is also a family member and doesn’t understand what Thanksgiving is. Imagine how you’d feel if your spouse locked you in a bedroom and disappeared for the whole day, while you could smell wonderful foods and hear people talking and laughing. You wouldn’t be very happy, and that is about how your pet would feel too. Simply appearing to visit with them and pet them for a few moments throughout the day will reassure them. 

Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie


  1. No turkey? I always add either a little ground chicken, beef liver, salmon or ground turkey to my dogs Canidae grain free ALS or Salmon. Should she not have this?


  2. If your dog is used to extras in her diet, you can continue feeding those with no problems and small amounts of meat mixed in with the kibble are perfectly safe and healthy choices for her. The Blog article is just pointing out possible digestive problems for pets that over indulge on leftovers during the Holidays.


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