5 things every dog owner should know before Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving typically brings an uptick in emergency animal hospital visits. The most common problems that bring dogs and cats to the emergency vet include gastrointestinal irritations with vomiting and diarrhea, pancreatitis from eating fatty foods, and an increase in animals struck by vehicles.

“The holidays can be stressful for everyone, including pets,” said Dr. Jacqueline Nobles. “If your cat or dog starts showing signs of illness or distress, be sure to take them to your family veterinarian or an emergency animal hospital right away.”

5 tips to keep your pets safe over Thanksgiving
Source: BluePearl Veterinary Partners

Don’t give your dog bones from your holiday turkey or ham. These can get lodged in the throat, which may cause choking or pierce the esophagus. Bones can also splinter and cause the intestinal track to become perforated.

Foods high in fat content can cause pancreatitis, so avoid feeding table scraps. Also, make sure to seal garbage bags and place them in a tightly covered container to prevent your pets from getting into them.

Many foods used in holiday cooking are not safe for animals. Onions, garlic, chocolate, raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts and raw or undercooked food can create major problems for pets. Make sure friends and family aren’t sneaking treats to your pets.

Be especially vigilant about xylitol, a sweetener found in sugar-free gums and candies. The substance, which is extremely toxic to pets, is also used for baking and can even be found in some brands of peanut butter. If you suspect your pet has ingested xylitol, get to an emergency animal hospital as quickly as possible, Nobles said. IN-DEPTH - Sugar-free gum blamed for accidental dog poisonings

As guests and deliveries come and go, there’s an increased opportunity for pets to slip out the door unnoticed. Try to keep pets inside, and make sure ID tags and microchip information are up to date. This greatly increases the chances of a successful reunion.