Tips for a Pet-Friendly Turkey Day

November 25, 2013 by Tails Magazine in Wellness with 0 Comments


While you enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday, don’t forget to keep an eye out for dangers to your four-legged family members. The Arizona Animal Welfare League & Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (AAWL & SPCA) is reminding people of a few things that people might not think of as Turkey Day dangers:

1. Counter surfing. Watch out for some serious counter surfing opportunities on Turkey Day. Don’t forget that our feline pets are almost always agile enough to access kitchen counters. Even pets that don’t normally try to get goodies off the counter might find Thanksgiving Day goodies too good to resist.

2. Watch the dinner guests. Make sure that any guests you have over to your home know the house rules with your pets and table scraps. Since chances are you don’t want your pet to be fed anything you’re eating (see tip #6), it’s best to just state up front that your pet is not allowed any people food.

3. Take out the trash.  All that Thanksgiving Day trash can be very attractive to our pets (including the trash bag, paper plates, and napkins). Take out the trash as soon as possible, or keep it in an area where curious paws can’t reach it.

4. Keep an eye on the doors. If you plan on having a busy house on Thanksgiving, make sure to keep doors closed to keep pets indoors and safe.

5. The little guests. If there will be children in your home on Thanksgiving that your pets are not used to, some extra precautions  and supervision may be needed. Sometimes kids’ quick movements and general excitement can be overwhelming to pets––a little extra attention to the situation can help keep pets and kids safe.

6. Dangerous foods for pets. There are lots of things that we enjoy as humans that are not healthy for our pets, and some can be quite dangerous. Here is a short list to keep in mind:

Bones and turkey legs
Bread dough
Batter with raw eggs
Macadamia nuts
Rich or spicy foods

What CAN you do to make the holiday enjoyable for your pet?
While you are chowing down, give your cat or dog their own little feast. Offer them Nylabones or made-for-pet chew bones. Or, stuff their usual food––perhaps with a few added tidbits of turkey, vegetables (try sweet potato or green beans) and dribbles of gravy––inside a Kong toy. They’ll be happily occupied for a while, working to get the food out of their toy. 
A little extra planning for the big day will make it happy for both people and pets!

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