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Thanksgiving Pet Safety: How to Keep Your Furry Friends Healthy and Happy

Thanksgiving Pet Safety How to Keep Your Furry Friends Healthy and Happy (1)

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Thanksgiving is a time of gratitude, togetherness, and indulgence. While you’re savoring the holiday feast, it’s important to ensure that your beloved pets are also safe and content. Just like humans, our furry companions can face certain risks during this festive season. In this article, we’ll explore some essential tips to keep your pets healthy and safe throughout Thanksgiving.

1. Poison Risks: Protect Your Pets from Harmful Foods

  • Thanksgiving feasts often feature fatty foods that can be difficult for pets to digest.
  • Poultry bones can pose a risk to your pet’s digestive tract, potentially leading to serious health issues.
  • Be cautious of holiday sweets, as they may contain ingredients that are toxic to pets.

To Keep Your Pets Safe:

  • Ensure the feast stays on the table, away from your pets.
  • Avoid feeding your pet turkey or turkey skin, as even a small amount can lead to pancreatitis.
  • Never give pie or other desserts to your dogs, as chocolate and xylitol can be harmful.
  • Stay away from yeast dough, as it can cause painful gas and bloating.
  • Dispose of turkey carcasses and bones securely to prevent any mishaps.

2. Decorative Plants: Choose Pet-Friendly Options

  • Some decorative plants and flowers are toxic to pets.
  • Toxic plants include amaryllis, Baby’s Breath, Sweet William, and more.
  • It’s safest to keep your pets away from all plants and table decorations.

Safety Measures:

  • Keep toxic plants out of your pets’ reach.
  • Opt for pet-friendly decorations to avoid potential hazards.

3. Quick Action Saves Lives: Pet Poisoning

  • If you suspect your pet has ingested something harmful, act swiftly.
  • Signs of pet distress may include sudden behavior changes, depression, pain, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Contact your veterinarian immediately or call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline for guidance.

4. Precautions for Parties: Reducing Stress and Ensuring Safety

  • Visitors can agitate your pets, leading to anxiety, especially if they are shy or excitable.
  • Consider placing your pet in another room or a crate with their favorite toy to reduce stress.
  • Be mindful if you have guests with compromised immune systems, as some pets can transmit diseases.
  • Exotic pets should be kept in a quiet place away from the holiday commotion.

5. Watch the Exits: Prevent Escapes

  • Even if your pets are comfortable around guests, keep a close eye on them when people enter or leave.
  • Ensure your pets are not accidentally let outside, which could lead to them getting lost.

Safety Recommendations:

  • Make sure your pets have proper identification, including microchips and tags.
  • Microchipping your pet can greatly increase the chances of them being returned to you if they get lost.

6. Festive Decorations: Pet-Proofing Your Home

  • Holiday displays, candles, and other decorations can attract pets.
  • Never leave pets alone in an area with lit candles, as it can lead to fires.
  • Decorative items like ornamental corn cobs and plastic leaves can be hazardous if ingested.

Safety Tips:

  • Keep decorations out of your pets’ reach.
  • Ensure candles are placed in safe locations.
  • Prevent pets from accessing potentially dangerous decorative items.

7. Travel Concerns: Safeguarding Your Pets on the Go

  • Whether you’re traveling with your pets or leaving them behind, safety is paramount.
  • Pets should never be left unattended in vehicles, regardless of the weather.
  • Safely restrain your pets in the car, using a secure harness or carrier.
  • Consult your veterinarian if you plan to travel by air with your pet.
  • Prepare a travel kit for your pet, including food, medications, and identification information.

Additional Advice:

  • Ensure your pet’s identification is up-to-date, especially if you’re traveling.
  • If boarding your dog, consult your veterinarian for advice on protecting them from contagious diseases.

8. Food Safety: Protecting Your Family and Furry Friends

  • While enjoying your Thanksgiving meal, don’t forget to protect your loved ones, including your pets, from foodborne illnesses.
  • Handwashing and safe food handling are crucial to ensure a happy and healthy holiday.

Stay Safe:

  • Follow the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s guidelines for safe turkey handling and cooking.
  • Store leftovers properly to prevent foodborne illnesses.


Thanksgiving is a time of joy and celebration. By following these essential guidelines, you can ensure that your pets stay safe and healthy during this special holiday season. Remember, a little caution goes a long way in ensuring the well-being of your furry friends.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I prevent my pet from eating harmful Thanksgiving leftovers? To prevent your pet from eating harmful leftovers, ensure that all food is securely stored or disposed of in a covered trash container.

2. What should I do if my pet shows signs of distress after eating something they shouldn’t have? If your pet exhibits signs of distress, such as sudden behavior changes or vomiting, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline for immediate assistance.

3. How can I keep my pets safe during holiday parties with guests? To keep your pets safe during holiday parties, consider placing them in a quiet room or crate, especially if they are nervous around new people. Additionally, ensure that guests with compromised immune systems are aware of your pets.

4. What precautions should I take when traveling with my pet during Thanksgiving? When traveling with your pet, make sure they are safely restrained in the vehicle, and consult your veterinarian for advice, especially if traveling by air. Additionally, prepare a travel kit with essential items.

5. What steps can I take to protect my pets from harmful holiday decorations? To protect your pets from harmful decorations, keep all decorative items out of their reach. Ensure that lit candles are placed in secure locations, and prevent access to potentially dangerous decorative items.

mahatma gandhi portrait

- Mahatma Gandhi

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”