Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Thanksgiving Pet Safety in Pittsburgh

Thanksgiving has arrived once more, and it’s time for us to review our most important Thanksgiving pet safety tips. You don’t need to dread the holidays, but we do want you to be fully aware of the health hazards that could pop up when you’re not looking. Pets can be sneaky, especially during semi-chaotic holiday events. See our tips below and be sure to contact our animal hospital if you have any questions or concerns! Our veterinarians are always happy to help.

If you and your pet are traveling for the holidays, make sure they’re wearing a collar with updated ID tags and have a microchip in case they get lost. Also, carry a copy of their medical records with you just in case.

Is your pet an escape artist? Even if you’re not sure, there’s always a first time, especially when the front door keeps opening and closing as friends and family file into the house. Watch the door (and your pet), or, to be extra safe, keep them in a room with the door closed until the guest traffic has quieted down.

Meat bones, chocolate, onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, and pumpkin pie filling are just a few foods that are dangerous for pets to eat. The easiest way to protect your pet? Don’t share any of your food with them! Their food and treats will do just fine.

If you need to leave your pet at home while you head out of town, consider boarding them so all their essential needs will be met and they won’t be left alone.

Does having lots of people around make your pet anxious? Distract them from the chaos of having guests over with the help of treats and toys, and give them a quiet place they can have all to themselves. If your pet is crate trained, they might prefer the comfort and security their crate or carrier provides. Check in on your pet regularly to make sure they’re okay.

If you have kids over, be sure to supervise all their interactions with your pet. If your pet recently had surgery, is recovering from illness, or doesn’t like being around large noisy groups of people, keep them in a quiet room by themselves.

Be sure to remind your guests not to feed your pet any table scraps. They might feed your pet something dangerous without knowing, and giving your pet handouts can foster bad eating habits.

Discourage your guests from leaving their alcoholic beverages sitting where your pet can reach them (chair, floor, edge of table).

Avoid decorating the tables with candles; flames are always a fire hazard in the home, especially when you have a pet or two prowling around. There are battery-powered options available!

Tidy up; don’t leave food, bones, or plasticware sitting around where your pet can reach it; throw it away immediately.

Guard the trash or put it where your pet can’t reach it (like out in the garage). Gobbling up food scraps and garbage can quickly upset your pet’s stomach, causing choking, or block their gastrointestinal tract.

Keep your pet out of the kitchen if you’re cooking—you never know when you might drop something that could be harmful to their health.