Families have been getting together to celebrate Thanksgiving for generations. It is a great time to catch up, play games, watch football, and most importantly, enjoy some delicious food.
Your pet is part of the family, and you may be planning to include them in the festive celebrations. However, it is especially important to be careful about pet safety during Thanksgiving because food is the 3rd most common toxin for pets. When your house is bustling with relatives, it is easy for a pet to gobble up something they shouldn’t without you noticing.
Luckily, if you are prepared, it is easy to keep your pets safe while enjoying your holiday. Here are some important pet safety tips to keep in mind this Thanksgiving:
1. Store Food Safely
Food will be present most places in your house during Thanksgiving: on the kitchen counter, the dining room table, and even the floors. You need to make sure your pet doesn’t end up eating something that will make them sick.
Keep your pets away from your Thanksgiving feast by placing food items far from reach on high counters or tables. Small amounts of turkey are fine - just check for small bone parts, as those can be a choking hazard.
2. Dispose of Trash Properly
Turkey bones and plastic packaging can wreak havoc on your pet’s stomach - and can also be a choking hazard. Place all Thanksgiving garbage in a secure trash bag, and keep the trash where your dog or cat can’t easily access it - like in a closed room or in a lidded garbage bin outside.
3. Keep Decorations Out of Reach
While some decorations are pet-safe, like those made out of cardboard, some can be dangerous.
Keep pets away from decorations made out of plastic such as faux plants and scented candles with hot wax that can cause burns. A simple solution is to use battery operated candles instead of real flames.
Also be sure to keep pets away from any live plants that may be unsafe for them. Here’s a list of pet-safe houseplants.
4. Create a Safe Space for Your Pet
Having a crowded, noisy house may make your pets anxious or aggressive, which can be a hazard to them or your guests.
If you know your pet does not do well around large crowds, it may be best to keep them at home or with a sitter. If the festivities are at your place, consider housing them in a separate room far from the guests.
If you put your pet in a separate room, bring in their food, water and a favorite toy to help them feel more at ease. If you are planning on having guests over for a holiday party, place a small sign on the door to let your guests know that the room is off-limits.
If your pet often gets stressed around people, you may also want to talk to your vet. There are certain medications that can remedy their stress.
5. ID Your Pet
Whether your event is indoors or outdoors, losing your pet is a risk if they are able to move freely away from the house. With all the commotion, it can be easy for a pet to get spooked and find the opportunity to run away.
To prepare for the worst, make sure your pet has identification on them with your contact information in order for others to call you in case they go missing. ID tags on their collars or microchipping with up-to-date information will help reunite you with your animal if they run away.
You should also secure your house by making sure there are no easy exits for your pet. Remind your guests to be mindful when opening doors as well.
6. Prepare Properly for Traveling
On the drive, keep your pet safely fastened with a harness or crate. If you get in an accident and your pet is not secured, they could be severely injured. Your pet could also obstruct your driving or distract you, which increases your risk of getting into a crash.
If you have a long journey, plan for several stops to let your dog go to the bathroom and stretch. Avoid feeding your pet on the drive as they could choke, and make sure to keep the car at a comfortable temperature to keep them from overheating.
Finally, if your pet has any known health complications or needs refills of medications, visit the vet before you go out of town to avoid any issues while you are away.
Have a Happy (And Safe!) Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is a great time to have some fun and enjoy a holiday with your friends, family, and pets! If you are expecting a feline, canine, or other furry friends at Thanksgiving this year, make sure you are prepared to keep them safe.
Keeping your pets out of trouble this Thanksgiving is something everyone will surely be thankful for!