Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tips to Keep Pets Safe on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is a joyous and relaxing holiday for most humans, but for pets, Thanksgiving can pose some very real dangers. To avoid a pet injury or illness on Thanksgiving consider the following tips, designed to help pet owners reduce the number of holiday pet hazards and dangers.

1. Keep Bones Out of a Dog or Cat's Reach. A dog or cat who eats turkey bones can suffer an intestinal obstruction, punctures and tears to the intestinal tract and potentially deadly internal bleeding. If your pets can access outdoor trash cans, instead place the container with the bones in the freezer and place the bones curbside on trash collection day.

2. Keep Dogs and Cats Out of the Kitchen on Thanksgiving Day. A pet in a crowded kitchen is a recipe for disaster. A pet can easily get under foot and cause a cook to trip and fall. If they have a hot food item in their hands, this could lead to burns and a big mess.

3. Confine Cats and Dogs When Thanksgiving Guest Arrive. Some dogs and cats are very social, while others don't appreciate visits to the home from strangers. Many cats and dogs find Thanksgiving Day guests overwhelming and frightening. If a guest attempts to pet a nervous pet, this may be a recipe for a dog bite, cat bite or cat scratch. Children visiting may pose a danger to cats, dogs and other pets. A child may act inappropriately, injuring the pet or provoke the dog or cat, leading to a bite.

4. Thanksgiving Dinner for Dogs and Cats. Most food at Thanksgiving should be OK for pets. Fat trimmings and very fatty food should always be avoided as this can trigger pancreatitis. Large amounts of unfamiliar foods will cause nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea in pets. Offer a small amount with the pets regular meal.

5. Keep the Emergency Vet and Pet Poison Control Numbers Handy. The ASPCA's Pet Poison Control Center is (888) 426-4435.