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Posted on 11-24-2014

By Christopher Walker

With Thanksgiving just a few short days away, we’d like to take this opportunity to help everyone with a few pet safety tips so you can hopefully avoid a trip to the emergency veterinary clinic or having to spend the evening searching for a missing pet.

On the morning of the holiday, try exercising your dog(s) wearing them out before guests arrive. If they are skittish around people, noises, or sudden movement, providing your pet with a retreat space to unwind or to simple get away from it all is a must. Offer a distraction with a special chew toy during the time people are scurrying around the house since the added commotion and change in routine may cause your pet to become overly anxious. Also, make sure your pet’s microchip is registered, that your information is up to date and that ID and license are present on their collar just in case he/she were to bolt out an open door or open garage.

Most pets do not tolerate spicy seasonings very well or large quantities of food. Avoid giving pets a sampling of everything on the human menu. You may have to remind your guests to resist the urge to offer table scraps or appetizers to the pets. Foods high in fat, such as ham, gravy, butter, and desserts, may cause inflammation of your dog’s pancreas. Pancreatitis causes intense abdominal pain and vomiting and requires IV fluid therapy and hospitalization to recover. Turkey stuffing can contain onions/onion powder, garlic, or raisins—all are toxic to dogs, so resisting the urge to feed your dog human food is highly recommended.

Make sure to dispose of turkey bones and foreign objects where your pet cannot get to them. Bones will splinter when chewed and can get caught in a pet’s esophagus or intestinal tract which could be life threatening, requiring surgery. Ham bones, while they tend to not splinter, are hard and can fracture teeth during chewing. Foreign object such as such as string (used to tie the turkey), skewers, plastic bags and turkey poppers are choking hazards and can cause an intestinal blockage which is also an emergency that many times requires surgery. Remember to secure the lid on the trash can and be sure that it is not accessible to the pet to avoid garbage raiding, rancid food is full of bacteria and can make a pet very sick. Keeping foods securely sealed and enclosed in a high space or the refrigerator is helpful in avoiding these problems.

We hope that you find these tips helpful and have a wonderful yet “uneventful” Thanksgiving holiday.

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