Turkey - Skin, bones, meat that has been seasoned, dark meat
Ham and other fatty, salty meats
Onions, Garlic, Scallions and Shallots
Grapes and Raisins
Nuts - Walnuts, Pecans, Macadamia Nuts
Nutmeg & Sage
Yeast dough and uncooked cake batter
Pies and other desserts
UNSEASONED Turkey and chicken meat, light only
Mashed or baked potatoes
A Special Treat Made with Dog Safe Ingredients
Homemade Treats for Your Best Friend
Know what foods and plants and other items are dangerous to your pet. Contact your vet or Pet Poison Hotline in an emergency. 855-764-7661 or 888-426-4435
Keep your dog away from the table and don't allow guests to feed your dog anything from the table.
Watch the door! Keep your dog safe while guests are coming and going.
Plan ahead for parties! Having new people in and out can be overwhelming so have a place for your pet to be comfortable. It can be a crate, a spare room or bathroom, or work with friends to coordinate "play dates" for pooches while hosting events. Take turns hosting the play dates so your pets are happy and you can have fun with your guests.
Stick to a routine for your pet. Remember he lives with you everyday and depends on you
Merry Christmas to all, and to all SAFE HOLIDAYS!
Thanksgiving has come and gone and Christmas is arriving very quickly this year! We have a week less time to get ready for the festivities and we still have to be sure our pet family is safe. This time of year is wonderous for all of us and our pets are no different. They get curious with all the twinkling lights and shiny decorations. Not to mention there is a brand new tree sitting in the middle of a room! WOW! Let's explore. Well, hold on little guy, mom and dad have to make sure you're safe.
Just like Thanksgiving, Christmas (or your special holiday) is a time for sharing food and food gifts with friends and family so let's recap the food do's and don'ts. Even something as simple as a floral arrangement can cause heartache.
Ham and turkey are popular foods for family meals. Ham and other salty meats and foods are very dangerous to pets. In addition to being high in fat, they are also very salty which can cause serious stomach ache or pancreatitis. Also, large breeds of dogs that eat salty food may drink too much water and develop a life-threatening condition called "bloat." This is where the stomach fills up with gas and within several hours may twist, causing the pet to die. Please avoid giving ham and salty foods to your pets. As for turkey, keep in mind that just a small bite of under-cooked turkey can contain harmful bacteria. As you bake your turkey, be sure you keep small pieces off the floor along with the bones while prepping the food. Crispy turkey skin is a favorite of mine as well as many members of my family. Who doesn’t love that crunch with all of the seasonings that bring the flavor? Many of the flavors that bring back the childhood memories for us are harmful to your pet. Did you know that fatty foods, such as turkey skin, are hard for your dog to digest and can cause a life threatening illness called pancreatitis?
Other common food items that can be detrimental this holiday season are onions, garlic, raisins and grapes. Some of these items can cause damage to red blood cells. Seasonings such as nutmeg and sage can be highly dangerous to pets. This means no pumpkin pie! While on the subject of pie, don’t allow your pet to eat raw bread dough or pies or other desserts. Particularly chocolate. When considering how to prepare your meals, also remember that Xylitol for sugar-free desserts can be deadly.
Next are nuts, including walnuts, pecans and macadamia nuts. In general nuts are not good for dogs as they are high in fats. Large nuts like walnuts and pecans are hard for the dog to digest and can cause stomach upset. Macadamia nuts are toxic and have been known to cause neurological problems.
If you want to provide your best friend with a special treat, there are a couple of options. One is to make your dog a holiday-themed treat. Find a simple dog treat recipe on the internet and use a turkey shaped cookie cutter for style. Unseasoned turkey, cranberry and sweet potato can make a good treat as well. To add to the festive treat, try putting it in a toy and allowing your pet to figure out how to get to the treat. There are special toys for just this type of fun. Such as Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball or Outward Hound Ottosson Puzzle Brick Dog Toy.
Once the holiday meal is over, be sure you pack your leftovers appropriately! Do not allow your pet to have bones and carcasses to chew on as they can damage the digestive tract.
NON-FOOD HOLIDAY THOUGHTS
Be Careful with Seasonal Plants and Decorations
Christmas Trees: Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn't tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water *which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset* from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria, and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he imbibe.
Avoid Mistletoe & Holly: Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.
Tinsel-less Town: Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching "toy" that's easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It's best to brighten your boughs with something other than tinsel.
That Holiday Glow: Don't leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out! Wired Up: Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws' reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet's mouth and digestive tract.
Selecting Special Treats: Looking to stuff your pet's stockings? Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible. Long, stringy things are a feline's dream, but the most risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball that's too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy or the interactive cat dancer. Please visit our People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets page for more information.
Plan a Pet-Safe Holiday Gathering
House Rules: If your animal-loving guests would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you're busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session.
Put the Meds Away: Make sure all of your medications are locked behind secure doors, and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too.
A Room of Their Own: Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to *complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the hubbub.
New Year's Noise: As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat's intestines, if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears. And remember that many pets are also scared of fireworks, so be sure to secure them in a safe, escape-proof area as midnight approaches.
Quick action can save lives. If you believe your pet has been poisoned or eaten something it shouldn’t have, call your veterinarian or local veterinary emergency clinic immediately. You may also want to call the Pet Poison Control Helpline: (855) 764-7661. Here is some further information on poisoning.
Signs of pet distress can include: sudden changes in behavior, depression, pain, vomiting, or diarrhea. Contact your veterinarian immediately.
Recapping Previous Tips:
Precautions for Parties If you’re hosting a party or overnight visitors, plan ahead to keep your pets safe and make the experience less stressful for everyone.
Visitors can upset your pets. Some pets are shy or excitable around new people or in crowds, and Thanksgiving often means many visitors at once and higher-than-usual noise and activity levels. If you know your dog or cat is nervous when people visit your home, put him/her in another room or a crate with a favorite toy. This will reduce the emotional stress on your pet and protect your guests from possible injury. If your pet is particularly upset by house guests, talk to your veterinarian about possible solutions to this common problem. Another great idea is to plan “play dates” with other pet parents. Host a pet party while your friend has their celebration and trade out dates so each family can celebrate and keep their fur babies comfortable.
If any of your guests have compromised immune systems (due to pregnancy, some diseases, or medications or treatments that suppress the immune system), make sure they’re aware of the pets (especially exotic pets) in your home so they can take extra precautions to protect themselves.
Watch the exits. Even if your pets are comfortable around guests, make sure you watch them closely, especially when people are entering or leaving your home. While you’re welcoming hungry guests and collecting coats, a four-legged family member may make a break for the door and become lost. Identification tags and microchips reunite families. Make sure your pet has proper identification with your current contact information – particularly a microchip with up-to-date, registered information. That way, if they do sneak out, they’re more likely to be returned to you. If your pet isn’t already microchipped, talk to your veterinarian about the benefits of this simple procedure.
Watch your pets around festive decorations. Special holiday displays or candles are attractive to pets as well as people. Never leave a pet alone in an area with a lit candle; it could result in a fire. And pine cones, needles and other decorations can cause intestinal blockages or even perforate an animal’s intestine if eaten.
Travel Concerns Whether you take your pets with you or leave them behind, take these precautions to safeguard them when traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday or at any other time of the year.
Your pet needs a health certificate from your veterinarian if you’re traveling across state lines or international borders, whether by air or car. Learn the requirements for any states you will visit or pass through and schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to get the needed certificate within the time frames required by those states.
Never leave pets alone in vehicles, even for a short time, regardless of the weather.
Pets should always be safely restrained in vehicles. This means using a secure harness or a carrier, placed in a location clear of airbags. This helps protect your pets if you brake or swerve suddenly or get in an accident; it keeps them away from potentially poisonous food or other items you are transporting; helps prevent them from causing dangerous distractions for the driver; and can prevent small animals from getting trapped in small spaces. Never transport your pet in the bed of a truck. Keep a leash near your animal in the event of an accident should someone need to care for your pet in an emergency.
Talk with your veterinarian if you’re traveling by air and considering bringing your pet with you. Air travel can put pets at risk, especially short-nosed dogs. Your veterinarian is the best person to advise you regarding your own pet’s ability to travel.
Pack for your pet as well as yourself if you’re going to travel together. In addition to your pet’s food and medications, this includes bringing medical records, information to help identify your pet if it becomes lost, first aid supplies, and other items.
Are you considering boarding your dog while you travel? Talk with your veterinarian to find out how best to protect your pet from canine flu and other contagious diseases, and to make sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccines. Choose a reputable kennel with caring staff and sufficient room for your pet and can meet your pet’s needs. Ask friends, relatives, or your veterinary staff about reputable kennels in your area.
You are your pet’s life. So be sure to care for yourself as well as your pet this holiday season. Be safe, responsible and enjoy your holidays!