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Keeping Your Pets Safe This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time year that brings together friends, family, and food. However, Thanksgiving also poses some dangers to our furry loved ones. Along with possible food dangers, your pet can become stressed with the change in their routine and all the strangers in their home. Read how to help avoid a trip to a Northern Colorado veterinary emergency care room below.

Keeping Your Pets Safe
Pay attention to these safety tips to keep your pets protected during the holidays:

Food Risks
On Thanksgiving, the food is the biggest hazard to your pet’s health. There are a number of things you can feed your dog and you may already know what may upset their stomach. But while you’re bustling about trying to host a Thanksgiving celebration or traveling to a place you and your pet aren’t used to, it can be more difficult than normal to keep potentially hazardous foods away from your pet.

Some things to watch out for include the following:

  • Fatty foods – Many of the foods we look forward to on Thanksgiving are not good for your pets. Did you know that even turkey and turkey skin can be hazardous for them? Be sure to monitor how much turkey your dog is eating. Keep an eye on guests feeding your dog table scraps and make sure that they know the risks. Too many fatty foods, including anything made with butter or with high amounts of animal fat, can cause a life-threatening condition called pancreatitis. The safest option is to buy treats just for your pets ahead of time.
  • Desserts and dough – Dogs can’t digest yeast doughs well and can have painful gas and bloating issues as a result. Most Thanksgiving sweets cause problems in pets, especially if chocolate or synthetic sugar is involved.
  • Food scraps – Not to be confused with small bites you feed to your pet while enjoying your own meal. These harmful discarded food items can include corn cobs, turkey bones, and even the string you use to tie your turkey while it’s cooking. Turkey bones and corn cobs have caused countless obstruction and choking problems for pets across Colorado. Even the brine you use for your turkey can be hazardous to pets due to its fat and salt content along with the use of herbs.
  • Nuts, raisins, currants, and grapes – These common stuffing ingredients can be dangerous to dogs and cats because they pose choking hazards and are often poisonous to them. Many pets try to swallow these small treats whole. Even if they are able to swallow them, they can still cause bowel obstructions. Nuts are also high in fat, which can cause pancreatitis in dogs. Never feed your pet grapes or raisins as these are highly toxic to them and typically require emergency vet care.

Hosting Hazards
If you’re inviting your family over for dinner this year, especially if visitors are staying overnight at your home, you’ll have to take extra precautions to make sure your pets stay safe.

  • Excitable guests – You know your pet better than anyone else. If they show any signs of aggression, nervousness, or anxiety when people visit your home, set them up with a comfortable crate or in an enclosed room with their favorite toy and water. This will help prevent unwanted behaviors in a crowded house.
  • Entrances and exits – If you’re comfortable letting your pets roam while the family is in town, pay extra attention to when people come in or out of your home to prevent your pets from escaping, getting stepped on, or being a little too friendly with guests who are uncomfortable around pets.
  • Decorations – Thanksgiving decorations are great. Fall leaves, squashes, pumpkins, and paper hand turkeys can add the perfect touch to any celebration. But be sure to watch out for your pets eating these decorations and harming themselves as a result.

A Final Word About Travel
All of the tips above can help to prevent a trip to the emergency vet. If you are traveling, make sure you take a safe place for your pet to sleep, preferably a crate or their own bed. Always ensure that your new environment is pet-proof. Dogs especially can act abnormally or become anxious in unfamiliar environments.

Whether you’re traveling or celebrating at home, we hope both you and your pets have an enjoyable and safe Thanksgiving this year!


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Royal Vista Veterinary Specialists


4630 Royal Vista Circle, Ste 11 Windsor, CO 80528

Clinic Hours

Emergency department: Friday-Sunday: 24 Hours Monday: 12:01 AM - 9:00 PM Tuesday-Friday: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM Surgery Department: Monday-Friday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM (by appointment only) Internal Medicine Department: Tuesday-Friday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (by appointment only)