With Thanksgiving coming up, everyone's looking forward to stuffing themselves with as much delicious food as they possibly can - and seeing all their family and friends, of course!For those of us with pets, it can be very tempting to give them a treat and let them sample some of the delicious cooking on offer to everyone else. But what is safe for a human might be fatal if given to a dog or a cat. So what is safe for your pet to eat?Discover below which common Thanksgiving dishes can be safely given to your pets, as well as general safety tips to help prevent a trip to the vet's!
1. Is it safe for my pet to eat turkey?
Source: Nicki Pardo
Yes - but only a very tiny amount, cooked and unseasoned. The safest thing to do is to get your pets their own, animal-specific treats, but if they do get very interested then, as long as the meat is cooked, skinless and unseasoned, it should be fine.Do not give them more than a tiny little bit as fatty foods are difficult for animals to digest and could cause a variety of problems for your pet if it disagrees with them. Overfeeding fatty foods can cause a nasty condition called pancreatitis, and the amount of fatty foods that could cause a problem varies from animal to animal.Make sure there are no bones in the meat as they're a choking hazard, and never give your pet stuffing as onions, grapes and raisins are toxic to pet animals, especially dogs.
2. Is it safe for my pet to eat potatoes?
Source: Fairgrounds Animal Hospital
Potatoes (both plain and sweet) are fine, again as long as it's only a very small amount, they are cooked through and don't have any seasoning on them. Cats find it more difficult to digest potatoes, however, so keep this treat to a minimum. Raw potatoes contain a chemical that is toxic to both cats and dogs, so you must keep these out of reach.
3. Are desserts safe for my pet to eat?
No. There are many things in baked goods for humans, such as the artificial sweetener Xylitol and, of course, chocolate, are toxic for animals, so it is better to not let them sample any of the sweet things on offer.
4. Raw dough and batter
Watch out for your pet while you're cooking because ingredients, such as eggs and yeast, could carry salmonella, or cause your dog to bloat. Do not let your pets lick the bowl, no matter how much they beg!
Decorations can look like toys and so can be tempting for a curious pet to take, chase and chew. Sadly, decorations are not made with a dog's mouth in mind and could break during play, injuring your loyal companion. Many flowers (notoriously lilies) are poisonous to pets and all lit candles and swallowable objects (like pot pourri) should be somewhere your pet can't get to.
6. People and party stress
If you're inviting lots of people over, this can be a stressful and unfamiliar situation for your pet. The added smells and noises in their territory could make them panic and could even make them try and run away. Make sure your pet has somewhere private and quiet to go to if they get stressed or frightened.To respect your pet's privacy, lay down some 'ground rules' with your guests about how to interact with them. Children especially might get overexcited at the sight of an animal, but it won't ruin their night to tell them to leave a nervous animal alone.People who are ill or allergic, and pregnant women need to be notified of your pet in advance so that they can take take necessary precautions.
7. Make sure they're microchipped
You should make sure that your pet is always supervised and that all exits are closed, but if they do manage to escape, a microchip is their best hope of being reunited with you. Make sure that your pet is microchipped and that they're wearing a tag with your number or address on it!
8. Going elsewhere?
Source: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
All of these go doubly if you and your pet are going somewhere else to celebrate. If you can't get a petsitter and you bring your pet to someone else's house, this can be especially stressful as they will be surrounded by people and noise in an unfamiliar place.Call ahead to make sure that your host has everything in place to ensure that your pet will be safe, as well as to warn them about how they are likely to react. If you both are prepared, then half the work is already done!Keep your pet calm by making sure they have access to somewhere quiet if they get overwhelmed and by staying with them as much as you can. Take some of their things with you, such as a bed, blanket or toys, as both a distraction and something that smells of home. You are their protector and you know how best to make them feel comfortable.
9. Dispose of your trash as quickly as possible
A turkey carcass can be a delicious-smelling death trap for a pet, so at least make sure that it is kept somewhere they cannot get to if you want to keep it for stock or leftovers. Pets generally don't know what is and isn't bad for them to eat - if it smells interesting, they're probably going to take a bite! The final step in keeping your pet is to dispose of everything in a secure trash can.In case anything does go wrong, have your vet's number so that it's easy to access.Happy Thanksgiving!
At Holidog, we aim to improve the lives of your furry friends. Enjoy your holidays with peace of mind, knowing your pet is in great hands (find a petsitter near you) and spoil them with our monthly subscription box filled with yummy treats and toys (get your free box here). You can count on us!