by Finch, our Hospital Resident
Well, hello there! My name is Finch and you may have seen me lounging around at the front desk at Ardmore Animal Hospital or waddling around on the front lawn. Today, I want to talk to you about some Thanksgiving holiday hazards for pets. With the holidays upon us there is a lot to think about. I have many moms that take care of me here at AAH and I see them rushing around preparing for everything, but one thing they need to make sure to remember is to keep their pets (and your pets!) healthy and happy this holiday season.
One of the biggest hazards during the holidays is the delicious tasting, delightfully smelling foods that everyone makes. I used to enjoy that fun stuff but I’m on a pretty strict diet these days. Four-legged family members should be kept away from these goodies for many reasons. Fatty foods can cause pancreatitis (an inflammation of the pancreas that can cause vomiting, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain.)
Turkey should be kept away from us, too. Poultry carcasses, packaging, strings etc. should be disposed of as soon as possible and taken directly out to the trash. I cannot tell you how tempting an open trash bag full of meaty goodness is. These items are dangerous because they can cause intestinal blockages and, on occasion, stomach perforation. Other ingredients in holiday foods that are toxic include, but are not limited to, onions, garlic, chocolate, raisin, grapes, xylitol, and yeast. Bread dough can be a big problem because it can cause gas and severe bloating.
If you feel like you want to spoil your pet just a bit for the holiday- create a special little feast with dog or cat appropriate treats and food. Foods are not just the only hazard. There are several plants that pets should be kept away from. Amaryllis, Baby’s Breath, Sweet William, and some ferns are toxic to dogs and cats. The ASPCA has a complete list of toxic foods and plants on their website as well as their Pet Poison Control hotline.
Visitors in the home can also be very upsetting for many pets. More people in the home means more new smells and louder noise levels. For a dog or cat that isn’t used to this it can cause a lot of stress. Products like thundershirts, calming collars, and pheromone plug-ins can help ease some of the anxiety. Keep an eye on the entryways and exits of your home when friends and family come over, as some stressed animals tend to bolt if given the opportunity. Make sure your pet has up to date info on a collar and/or a microchip. I am microchipped AND have a collar with my name and several phone numbers (in case I run away, although, that’s highly unlikely).
The last thing I want to talk about is traveling with your pet. If you are headed out of town with your dog or cat you will want to make sure you have a health certificate with all of the updated vaccines. It’s good to have this in case you need to see another vet out of town. Make sure when you are packing yourself that you also pack for Fluffy or Fido too! Bringing their regular diet, favorite stuffies, and important medications will ensure that you pet stays happy and healthy during your travels. If you pet is staying at a boarding facility while you go away, then make sure to check with your veterinarian and the boarding facility about special vaccines that may be needed.
I hope my tips help you keep you animals safe this Thanksgiving and every other holiday as well. As for me, I will be spending Thanksgiving with one of the receptionists and her family. I’m sure she will have a special holiday feast for me. I sure do have a lot to be thankful for this year. Happy Holidays!