It’s hard to believe the holidays are right around the corner! With Thanksgiving only a few weeks away, we wanted to share some handy holiday safety tips for your pets to keep them safe and healthy on Turkey Day. 

Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips To Keep In Mind

Keep reading to learn more, and get in touch with your trusted Fort Collins veterinarians at Countryside Animal Hospital if you have any questions, or you want to arrange a visit for your furry best friend.

Food for Thought

When it comes to Thanksgiving, this is a time for feasting on all the yummy traditional foods and fixins that are a hallmark of this holiday. From turkey to gravy to green bean casserole and all the sweets in-between, it’s essential to know what your pets can have a taste of, and which foods can be very toxic to them when ingested.

Turkey-Lurkey Do’s and Don’ts

Cooked, unseasoned poultry is quite nutritious for both dogs and cats. However, when you throw in all the delicious seasonings like salt, onion, and garlic to add flavor that makes it extra tasty for the human palate, it can quickly turn a nutritious protein into a toxic hazard for our furry friends. When it comes to turkey, giving them only a few tastes of fully cooked, unseasoned meat is fine, in moderation, of course. 

On the other hand, you never want to feed your pets:

  • Raw, uncooked poultry – Can cause salmonella and severe gastrointestinal issues.
  • Turkey skin – Can sometimes cause pancreatitis, a life-threatening condition in both dogs and cats.
  • Fat – Can be really hard for their tummies to digest.
  • Bones/carcass – Can cause all sorts of problems when eaten including choking and other issues in the digestive tract.

Just Say “No” to Bread Dough

A Thanksgiving feast wouldn’t be complete without all the yummy baked bread and rolls, sweetbreads, and pies. While we humans love to indulge in these delightfully doughy foods, raw dough is a major no-no for dogs and cats. 

If your pet eats raw yeast bread dough, it can cause severe, even life-threatening problems for your furry friends. You see, even after the dough has been ingested and enters their digestive tract, as the ASPCA perfectly phrases it, “the yeast continues converting the sugars in the dough to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol.” This can cause severe, painful bloating, drunken-like behavior, and can even become life-threatening.

Keep the Sweets Out of Paw’s Reach

Other dangerous foods are those delectable sugar-packed treats that help balance out the savory foods. The batter for baked sweets, as well as chocolate, cookies, candy, and all things sweet pose serious health risks to your pets. 

When you’re baking, be extra mindful to keep your pets out of:

  • Batter – Typically contains raw eggs that can cause salmonella if ingested in large amounts.
  • Baking chocolate – This type is even more toxic to pets than milk or dark chocolate because it contains higher amounts of caffeine and theobromine (the predominant toxin in chocolate), which can negatively affect the central nervous, cardiovascular, and/or respiratory systems when ingested.

Other risks include:

  • Artificial sugar (xylitol) – This sweetener can cause many issues for pets that could become fatal.
  • Raisins, grapes, and nuts – Many desserts call for these ingredients, which are all incredibly toxic to our pets when consumed.

Dangerous Decorations To Be Aware Of

Whether you’re creating a centerpiece for your dinner table for Thanksgiving, or you’re decorating your home with festive plants of the season, it’s important to know which plants/flowers are toxic to pets. 

Here are a few autumnal flowers that are toxic to both dogs and cats:

  • Lilies – Lilies of all types can trigger acute kidney failure in our feline friends, and can cause gastrointestinal issues when ingested by dogs. Certain lilies like Tiger, Stargazer, and Red lilies can cause heart arrhythmias that can potentially become fatal. 
  • Autumn Crocus – This beautiful flower is especially toxic to dogs when ingested. If eaten, it can cause bloody vomiting, diarrhea, and organ damage.


Talk to Your Fort Collins Veterinarian

If you have any questions about toxic foods or plants for pets, or any other concerns you have for your furry companion around the holidays, contact Countryside Animal Hospital today. Your compassionate Fort Collins veterinarians are invested in your pet’s optimal health and well-being, and we want to ensure they stay healthy and happy during Thanksgiving. From all of us at Countryside, we wish you, your family, and your pets a healthy, happy, and safe Thanksgiving!