Guest Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
Thanksgiving is one of those holidays in which dozens of your friends and family descend upon your house bringing with them joy, food, and yes, stress for your pet. Depending on the size of your pet, he or she could be subject to getting stepped on by elderly relatives that aren’t accustomed to having a miniature poodle underfoot or the bigger dogs could get all twitchy when the toddlers believe that Great Dane equals miniature horse.
What can you do to keep your pet safe, healthy and happy on the Thanksgiving holiday weekend? Here are a few tips:
- If your pet is unaccustomed to a household full of toddlers and/or strangers and may be prone to bite (and any animal has that tendency when faced with stressors), make certain he has a safe spot in which to escape from the guests. If your pet finds comfort in the safety of her crate, make it available so they can escape to that sanctuary if they need it.
- Make certain the parents of the toddlers, teens or tweens know that Fido isn’t accustomed to children and teach them how to approach her. Stress the fact that they shouldn’t be putting their faces in the dogs face and also keep the kids away from your pets food dish.
- Keep a watchful eye on the door. If the noise level gets to be too much inside the house, your dog or cat may see an open door as a welcome respite and dash out.
- Food dangers are also part and parcel of the Thanksgiving day feast beginning with the dangers of turkey bones. Never, never, ever let your pet eat any bones, they can shatter, lodge in their throats or bellies and cause irreparable damage. There are bones on the market that are approved, only use those.
- Tossing your pet a few bites of turkey or dressing or mashed potatoes with gravy might be tempting but food that rich can wreak havoc with their digestive systems and you don’t want Fido to be yarking on your carpet, right?
- Grapes, raisins, onions and chocolate are all toxic to your pet at one level or another. Do not let your pet eat any of these items. Make sure all of your guests know that your pet eats a balanced diet and cannot have any table scraps.
- Alcohol and caffeine are also toxic to your pet so keep them out of reach.
Provide your dog with a treat filled Kong or other toy in which he will have to work (and have fun at the same time!) digging that treat out. It just might keep him from begging at the table, and sometimes it’s hard to resist those soulful eyes, but you have to make certain your guests know they have to. Enjoy your day!