Pet Safety Tips During Thanksgiving Festivities

Many people have already moved their turkeys from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw in time for the big day and most can already feel the anticipation of what is to come: Thanksgiving dinner. From the fresh turkey to the homemade side dishes, Thanksgiving meals typically offer a wide array of food choices for both human and furry four-legged family members.

Take a look at some of the top pet safety tips during Thanksgiving from local home builder SR Homes:

Don’t Eat That!

While man’s best friend might not typically eat table food, sometimes it is difficult to keep attendees from pinching off a taste of their plate and slipping it under the table. Make it clear to guests that you prefer Frodo gets nothing, but to be extra cautious about even accidentally giving him the following:

  • Desserts: While it might be considered common knowledge among pet owners that chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats, other dessert ingredients can be just as dangerous including currants, table sugar, modern sweeteners, grapes/ raisins and the sugar substitute xylitol. Sugar can produce an imbalance of a dog’s live gut bacteria resulting in vomiting, gas, diarrhea and discomfort, so best to avoid giving pets any desserts or dessert alternatives.
  • Turkey: The occasional unseasoned, well-cooked white meat is typically OK for dogs and cats, but fatty dark meat and skin should be avoided as they are difficult to digest and can cause stomach upset. Additionally, while the meat is typically OK, turkey bones are not as they can become a choking hazard while going down and potentially splinter the digestive tract while working their way through.
  • Ham: Even if cooked plainly as possible, ham is well-known to be too fatty and salty for pets.
  • Seasonings: Garlic, onion, leeks and chives, oh my… Such seasonings are considered staples in Thanksgiving meals but be sure to keep them far away from curious pets as they are toxic. Best to simply avoid giving pets a bite of anything seasoned with these ingredients as it can cause destruction to their red blood cells.
  • Unbaked Yeast Dough: Possibly one of the least-considered foods for animals to avoid is unbaked yeast dough. Not only can the yeast in the dough cause a stomach blockage, but the natural fermentation of the yeast within a pet’s stomach can then cause alcohol poisoning. Keep dough pushed to the back of countertops or out of reach above the ridge during the proofing process.
  • Cranberry sauce is typically high in sugar and some recipes even include grapes, raisins or currants, all of which are toxic to pets.
  • Mashed potatoes: Technically, mashed potatoes are not an issue for dogs, but only if they are roasted, not boiled, with no salt, seasonings, milk or butter – and most mashed potatoes include such ingredients.
  • Corn on the cob can cause a serious choking hazard and intestinal blockage if the cob itself is swallowed, so only plain corn off the cob is OK.

I’ll Take a Bite of That

While there are many popular Thanksgiving foods and ingredients pets should avoid, there are also many that are considered fine (at Thanksgiving or otherwise):

  • Raw veggies like carrots, green beans, sweet potatoes and pumpkin (excluding sweetened pie filling).
  • Raw fruits like apples and blueberries, and raw, dried or roasted cranberries.
  • Plain corn (off the cob)
  • Cheese (in moderation)
  • Plan cooked eggs (not deviled eggs)

Keep an Eye on the Perimeter

With Thanksgiving guests coming and going throughout the day, be sure to keep an eye on pets near doorways. Consider putting the kids in charge of keeping pets inside by making a game out of it or offering a prize if Frodo does not make it outside on his own today! Baby gates are also an option to keep dogs secured to an area or room – this will also deter them from getting too excited and jumping on guests.

Alternatively, cats are not typically confined by baby gates, so the best option for these well-known escape artists might be to keep them enclosed in a room for the day. Be sure to include all their favorite things to keep them cozy all day long.

Keeping family pets included in the Thanksgiving festivities can be easy with these stress-free tips. The SR Homes team hopes you and your family enjoy the holiday season and being together again.

If you still need help searching for your dream home for the holidays, consider SR Homes in your search. To learn more about new homes available in Forsyth, Fulton and Oconee counties, call 678-252-2500 or click here.

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