With Thanksgiving right around the corner, families across the country are planning their menus and figuring out how they’ll entertain loved ones. While it’s natural to be busy with all these preparations, by taking a few extra seconds you can ensure that the festivities don’t inadvertently cause health issues for your pets. Here are a few animal care tips to embrace this November.
How to Keep Your Pet Healthy During the Holidays
1. Keep the Feast Out of Reach
Thanksgiving dinner is much more extensive than a regular meal, meaning there are additional opportunities for your pets to sneak away and have a feast of their own. As part of your animal care protocol, always keep food out of reach and do not leave your table unattended. In large quantities, turkey skin can cause pancreatitis in dogs. And while you might be tempted to throw them a bone—literally—cooked bones can easily splinter and harm their digestive tract. If you suspect that your pet has consumed any of these items or if they are demonstrating alarming symptoms, take them to a veterinarian right away.
2. No Sweet Treats
During the holiday season, families treat themselves to decadent desserts. While it may be tempting to give your pet a few morsels, remember that sweet treats like chocolate are harmful to animals and in some cases, can lead to death. Gum and sugar-free marshmallows often contain xylitol which is also poisonous to them. If you choose to feed your dog or cat a special treat, stick to bones and jerky created especially for pets.
3. Dispose of Trash Properly
When you’re entertaining on Thanksgiving, food waste quickly builds up from both cooking and after dining. If you have a curious pet that cannot resist the smells of turkey and gravy emanating from the trash can, make a conscious effort to take your garbage out.
4. Steer Clear of Certain Holiday Plantlife
Beyond the bounty of food that’s often present on Thanksgiving, many families opt to decorate living spaces for the holiday. If you have an adventurous animal that’s prone to gnawing on plants and playing with leaves, avoid poinsettias, mistletoe, ferns, and hydrangeas as they are toxic to animals when consumed.
Parkview Animal Hospital, based in Lincoln, NE, is known throughout Lancaster County for providing dedicated animal care. If you’re looking for an experienced veterinarian who believes in treating every pet as a member of their own family, call this walk-in veterinary clinic today at (402) 423-6939 to discuss your needs. For more information on their comprehensive services, from vaccinations and general health exams to spaying, visit their website.