Although some have overlooked it, we at the Humane Society are excited to celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday! Spending a day with our loved ones is something we cherish, but we want to encourage all of you to not overlook your pets on this day of thanks. Please keep your pets in mind especially when it comes to preparing your traditional Thanksgiving feast. Although some food items may be a staple to your family around the dinner table, they can be harmful to your pets. Here are a few things to keep in mind this Thanksgiving.
Give Them a Safe Haven
A full house of family and friends may be overwhelming to your pet. Make sure to have a safe place for your pets to retreat to if they feel scared. Set a room aside for them that is quiet and free of people. You can also have some calming music playing in the room to help your pet tune out the noise from your party. Make sure to have things that are familiar to your pet in the room including their bed, toys, food and water.
Watch for Bones
Your pet may like a nibble or two of turkey this Thanksgiving and that is OK. However, make sure that your turkey is fully cooked and boneless. Raw or undercooked turkey can hold salmonella bacteria, which can be harmful to your pet. Small bones can also be a choking hazard for your pet if consumed. In fact, both turkey and ham bones can splinter in your dog’s digestive tract, which can lead to an emergency trip to your vet. Dispose of bones carefully and keep them away from your pets!
Be Aware of Spices
Sage can make any ho-hum stuffing taste amazing, but this spice along with others contain essential oils and resins that can make your pet’s stomach upset if eaten in large quantities. Cats are very sensitive to these essential oils. In addition, that nutmeg that adds something special to your pumpkin pie, can cause seizures or central nervous system problems in your dog.
Say No to Dough
When it comes to raw dough, simply tell your pets no. When a pet eats raw dough, their natural body temperature causes the dough to rise in their stomachs. As the dough expands, the dog may experience things such as severe abdominal pain, bloating and even vomiting, which can become life-threatening. If your pet accidentally eats dough, contact your vet immediately.
With so many yummy treats available this Thanksgiving, remember that moderation is key. It is completely OK to give your pets a few nibbles of Thanksgiving dinner, but too much of a good thing could lead to stomach upset or diarrhea for your pet. A great way to include your pets would be to give them a special pet-friendly chew when your family sits down for dinner. Or, better yet, fill your pet’s Kong with a little bit of the Thanksgiving meal (go for turkey, sweet potato or green beans). This way you can avoid them begging for scraps at the dinner table and they can enjoy a little of the meal without overindulging!
ID Your Pets
The stress from holidays can make a scared pet bolt right out of an open door. Make sure your pets have proper identification at all times. Have an identification tag with contact information on them so if they get out they can be identified. In addition, get your pets microchipped. If their collar breaks away, they can still be identified and returned to you if found.
Do you have a question for Brian? E-mail him at AskBrian@hsdayton.org. Brian Weltge is the President and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. The Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building loving relationships between people and pets. Founded 115 years ago, it is the largest and most established “no-kill” animal welfare agency in the area. It focuses on pet adoptions, eliminating pet overpopulation, providing education and ensuring the humane treatment of animals. For more information about the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, call 937-268-PETS (7387) or visit www.hsdayton.org.