The holiday season is in full swing and the next stop is Thanksgiving. There are so many things to be thankful for: family, friends, food, and of course our pets! With all the commotion of Thanksgiving sure to be upon us in the next few weeks it is important remember our furry friends and how we can provide a safe, fun and memorable holiday for everyone. Below is a list of “Turkey Tips” to make sure your Thanksgiving goes as pleasant as possible.
Stuff the Turkey, NOT your Pet: Most of us are guilty (at one time or another) of feeding our pets at the table. This is a bad idea on a few levels. Not only does it send the wrong message to your pet, it could be harmful to their digestive system. Extra precautions must be taken on turkey day. Rich fatty foods such as turkey, gravy, etc. can cause pancreatitis. This is caused by an inflammation of the digestive gland and can be very serious. If your pet is used to getting a few table scraps that is OK, as long as it is in moderation. Also remember with it being a holiday, many animals clinics will be closed. This is an easy way to avoid disaster this holiday.
Discarding the Turkey Strings that Tied the Legs: Believe it or not, this is a major cause for pet emergencies on Thanksgiving. This includes aluminum foil, turkey pop ups, skewers, string, oven bags, whole lead seasonings plastic wrap, and wax paper. Most of these cooking materials are probably drizzling with turkey juice and a major target for your pet. One trick is to put them in a sheet of unused foil as you prepare your dishes then wrap them up and place in the garbage that has a tight fitting lid. The foil will minimize the smell.
Make No Bones About It: Bird Bones (geese, turkey, duck and other birds) can present a huge health risk for your pet. They are hollow and break/splinter very easily. Also, because they are so easily breakable, dogs usually won’t chew them thoroughly. The results are sharp pieces that can choke the dog or block or tear the intestines.
Secure the Garbage Can: If you haven’t noticed already, pets can be scavengers and will wolf down anything that resembles edible eye candy, especially if it smells good. Dogs are especially infamous for “dumpster diving” and very sneaky about their approach. Keep one eye on your pet after the food has been cleaned up and thrown away.
Minimize Stress With the Same Routine: Even though you are frantically planning for the holidays it is important not to change your pet’s food or exercise schedule. These daily activities become a routine for your pet and neglecting this might cause him/her to become insecure. Add this to the crowds and commotion of Thanksgiving, and you could be unintentionally increasing your pets stress level.
If you will be traveling with your pet, preparation is the key. Getting your pet ready for travel is essential to a comfortable trip. Whether by car or air, your pet will need to be restrained in a carrier, booster seat, harness or crate. Get all your supplies together including your pet’s food and toys. Familiar things will make it easier for your pet when they are removed from their familiar surrounds. Many more hints on how to travel successfully with a pet can be found in our pet travel articles section.
Be truly thankful this Turkey Day by keeping your pets safe and healthy. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at PetTravel.com!