As people begin preparing food for a Thanksgiving feast today, the San Diego Humane Society has a few tips to make the celebration safer for people and their pets.
Feed pets their normal food. According to SDHS, it's best to stick to their regular diet of wet and/or dry food and usual treats to keep their digestive tracts happy. Avoid sharing prepared holiday dishes, which might have ingredients that could make your pet sick.
If pet owners really want to share some of the meal with their pets, and they have no known food allergies or history of stomach sensitivity, save a small amount of lean white turkey meat with no skin, bones or fat.
Feed pets in their bowl rather than from the table to prevent future begging.
Pet lovers should avoid offering the following foods as they can cause anything from vomiting and diarrhea to liver failure or pancreatitis:
- bones, skin, turkey fat and gravy;
- stuffing and other dishes with onions, garlic, grapes or raisins;
- anything cooked with butter; and
If there are holiday guests, ask them not to share food with pets.
Family and friends may mean well, but it is important to remind them of the
potential dangers. SDHS recommends preparing some sealed snack bags in advance to let guests use those treats instead of sharing from their plates.
Keep all food and trash out of reach. This can be challenging on a busy holiday, and pets can be sneaky -- but it's important to keep these items away from your animals.
Offer some pet-friendly fun. Give pets a treat dispenser, such as a Kong for dogs, that will reward them as they stay focused. Toys can provide activity, distraction and comfort, so offer different kinds of toys. A new one, like a catnip mouse for cats, can be a welcome surprise.
Provide access to a quiet place to retreat. To reduce stress levels, give pets the option to step away to an enclosed room with their favorite toys and bed.
Keep fresh water available to drink. Dogs typically pant more when they feel stressed, so on a busy holiday, they may require more water.
Maintain a pet's usual routine for both mealtime and playtime.