Thanksgiving Tips for Pet Owners

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, PVH emergency veterinarian Dr. Joe wanted to share these holiday tips from the AVMA:

  1. Keep the Thanksgiving feast on the table – not under it. Table scraps may seem like a fun way to include your pet in the holiday, but there are a number of hazards to feeding your pets from your plate. Many foods healthy for you are poisonous to pets, including onions, garlic, raisins and grapes.
  2. Put the trash away where your pets can’t find it. A turkey carcass on the carving table or left in an open (or easily opened) trash container could prove deadly if the family pet eats it. What your pet thinks is a tasty treat can cause a condition called pancreatitis, which is extremely dangerous and can cause death fairly quickly. Also keep anything used to wrap or tie the meat and any bones away from your pet.
  3. No pie or other desserts. Chocolate is poisonous to pets, and the darker it is, the more deadly it is. Many dogs find chocolate tempting and will eat it if they find it, including extremely dangerous baker’s chocolate. Also be aware of an artificial sweetener called xylitol (can be found in baked goods, gum, etc.), which has been shown to be deadly if consumed by dogs.
  4. Quick action can save lives. If you believe your pet has eaten something he or she shouldn’t have, call your veterinarian or local veterinary emergency clinic immediately.
  5. Visitors can upset pets. Some pets are shy or excitable around new people. If you know your animal friend is overwhelmed when people visit your home, put him in another room or a crate with a favorite toy. If your pet is particularly upset by houseguests, talk to your veterinarian about other possible solutions. 
  6. Watch the exits. If your pets are comfortable around guests, make sure you watch them closely. While you’re welcoming hungry guests, a four-legged family member may make a break for it out the door and become lost. Be sure your pet has proper ID (tag, microchip with up-to-date, registered info).
  7. Watch pets around decorations. Holiday displays and candles can be attractive to pets as well as people. Never leave a pet alone in an area with a lit candle. Don’t forget that some flowers and festive plants can be hazardous if swallowed by your pet. Pine cones and needles can cause an intestinal blockage or perforate the animal’s intestine.

Source: American Veterinary Medical Association ( Reviewed and condensed for this article by Dr. Joe Musielak.

Located in Snohomish, Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital offers comprehensive and 24/7 emergency care:360.568.3113

Article added 11.13.15