Thanksgiving Safety for Dogs


Thanksgiving is a joyful holiday for most people. But it can be a hazardous time for your dog. Prepare yourself and your canine pal for the upcoming holiday with these timely tips.

Holiday Stress, Canine Style

Social dogs may love the bustle of the holiday. But for shy dogs, it can be stressful. House guests, new faces, and disruptions in the daily routine can take a toll on a sensitive dog. Skittish dogs may be tempted to snap or bite. Escape artists may see an opening when guests linger at the door. Anxious dogs are prone to misbehavior of all sorts: barking, house-soiling, and destruction.

You know your dog. An outgoing dog can be the life of the party. But if your canine pal isn't a social butterfly, be safe, not sorry, by confining him to his crate or in a separate room before the guests arrive. Offer your dog a new toy or, in particular, a Kong Blue toy to occupy his attention until the excitement subsides. Mask the noise with a soothing classical CD. Or pop in a "for dogs only" video to distract from the commotion. Natural stress relievers or comforting dog pheromone sprays, collars, or diffusers can be very efficacious as well.

Thanks, But No Thanks!

Who can ignore Fido's rapt, mouth-watering stares as the turkey comes out of the oven? Who hasn't been tempted to sneak him a tidbit under the table? It's natural to want to share the bounty with your dog on Thanksgiving, but it's not always safe. Here are some hazardous treats that might be on your table:

Protect your dog with a few easy precautions. Consider substituting low-fat store-bought for turkey and giblets and your dog may be none the wiser. If you must share people food, offer only lean meat and bland side dishes, ones devoid of sauces or spices. Avoid all forbidden foods, as well as anything excessively fatty, such as gravy, pan drippings or stuffing. Don’t give anything with bones because they can cause choking, broken teeth, or life-threatening intestinal perforations. Ration leftovers over several days rather than indulging your dog all at once. Make sure all family and guests follow these rules as well.


Garbage Gut

Dogs are scavengers. And what could be more tempting to a scavenger than an unsupervised trashcan full of juicy scraps, fatty trimmings and a tasty turkey carcass! Poultry bones can easily splinter or get lodged in the mouth, throat or digestive tract with serious consequences. Discarded items such as string, foil wrap, and moldy or spoiled food often found along with tasty scraps can cause equal amounts of trouble.

Be sure to keep garbage out of your dog's reach in a tightly sealed container. If the outdoor trashcan is a target, consider freezing the bones until trash day and then taking them straight to the curb.

And if your dog does experience vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or any other unusual symptoms after eating things he shouldn't, consult your veterinarian right away. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of giblets. Your dog will thank you.

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