Pet Care

6 Pet Hazards to Avoid This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a busy time for our emergency staff at The PARC. One year, we saw 73 patients over the long weekend – including one Springer Spaniel named Wally who ate half of a turkey carcass and a large slice of pecan pie. Although we’re sure Wally loved scarfing these treats down, it landed him in the hospital with a bad case of pancreatitis.

The last thing any pet owner wants to do on Thanksgiving is rush their pet to the animal emergency room! But, the truth is that many pets are injured or poisoned during this time of the year. How can you make sure your holiday doesn’t end in disaster? Here are six things cat and dog owners should watch out for.

  1. Turkey Skin and Bones. A small amount of white turkey is an acceptable treat for your dog, but definitely avoid the turkey skin and the turkey bones! The skin is often fatty and can cause pets to develop pancreatitis. Poultry bones, especially cooked, have the potential to break and puncture a hole in the digestive tract or, if your dog eats a large amount, it could block the system.
  2. Other Foods. You’ll also want to avoid giving your dog grapes and raisins, excessively salty foods, foods flavored with onion or garlic powder, desserts and sweets containing Xylitol, and chocolate. Make sure to secure all leftovers behind a pet-proof door.
  3. Trash. Remember to keep your trash can secure, too! Many items used in meal preparation and then thrown away can be dangerous: a turkey string, foil wrappers, etc. may smell like and be eated by a curious pet.
  4. Plants. Decorative plants are also a source of danger. Mistletoe and holly can cause vomiting, and lilies are often deadly to cats. Poinsettias, despite their reputation, are not deadly and often cause little more than mild stomach upset.
  5. Decorations. Some holiday decorations are also dangerous. Ribbons and tinsel are especially attractive and hazardous to cats. Keep an eye on electrical cords to ensure puppies and kittens don’t chew on them.
  6. Crowds and Busy Entryways. During family gatherings, you’ll often have lots of people going in and out of the front door – an opportunity for pets to slip out. The crowd may also make your pet anxious, so it might be best to keep your pets confined in a quiet back room.

Remember that The PARC is open 24/7 – including during the holiday weekend. We’re here around the clock for you and your pet!