Tips to keep your pets safe, while you give thanks

Turkey, fixings, family and friends—Thanksgiving is a time to eat, drink and be merry with the ones you love. And for many of us, that includes our furry family members. So how can you let your pets in on the festivities while ensuring their safety? Here are some things to keep in mind so your pets stay healthy and safe while you give thanks.

There’s a reason they call it “turkey day”

The star of Thanksgiving is, of course, the bird. You might be wondering if it’s OK to share a taste with your pet. The short answer is yes, but only a taste. Make sure the turkey is well cooked, skinless and boneless. Even small amounts of turkey can cause a life-threatening condition called pancreatitis in pets. If you really want to treat your pets, buy a treat or food made just for them.

Savory sideshow

Those delicious side dishes can often upstage the turkey—and rightly so! Who doesn’t love stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams and dinner rolls? Are you drooling yet? Well, your pets will definitely be drooling for a bite of these tasty sides. But, they have a hard time digesting fatty foods and ingredients in those items, and other foods you may be serving can be poisonous to pets. So, it’s best to keep your feast on the table and out of their food bowls.

Please pass on the dessert

Whether it’s pie, cake or cookies, you’ll want to have your pet skip dessert. Items like chocolate and the artificial sweetener xylitol—commonly used in gum and sugar-free baked goods—can be deadly if consumed by cats or dogs.

Talking trash

This isn’t about keeping your dinner conversation clean, though it’s not a bad idea, we’re literally talking about garbage. Since dangerous items like turkey bones, string and bags used to cook the bird, onions, raisins and grapes are likely to end up in your trash, make sure your garbage is well secured and stored where your pet cannot access it.

Candles, runners and chargers, oh my!

If you’re a Martha Stewart level tablescaper, the holiday decorations are just as important as, or maybe even more important than the meal. As you set the perfect scene, remember that certain types of flowers and plants—such as amaryllis, ferns, hydrangeas and more—are toxic to pets, so make sure arrangements, candles and other decorations are well out of paw’s reach.
House rules

You’re likely to share the holiday with friends and family. Make sure everyone is aware of what is and isn’t OK to give your pets. Provide your guests with treats just for your pets if you know they won’t be able to resist those adorable puppy dog or kitty cat eyes.

We all need some “me” time

Having friends and family around can be as stressful for your pets as it is for us. So, be sure to provide your furry family members with a safe, quiet area in the home where they can take a break from the festivities.

Flight risk

Lastly, as friends and family enter and depart your home, keep an eye on the doors. While you’re welcoming guests or seeing them off for the evening, your pet may take that opportunity to dart past an unsuspecting guest. Also, make sure your pets are wearing a collar and that their tags and microchip ID are up to date in case they do manage to squeeze out the door; this will give you the best chance of being reunited with your furry family member.

We hope these tips help you enjoy a safe and happy day of giving thanks along with your friends and family—including those with fur.

And, if you’re considering adding a furry friend to your family, we can assure you that if you bring home one of our adoptable pets, they will be forever thankful.

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