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Thanksgiving Safety Tips for your Dog

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The Thanksgiving Dinner is a wonderful time of coming together with friends and family.  It can also be a time when folks can’t resist slipping your dog a little bit of the Thanksgiving Feast from the table or even after dinner while clearing up. There are so many opportunities for your dog to eat something that can make them feel pretty bad or even cause more harm.

Here are some great tips to remember and share with your guests to help keep your pet safe and happy during the upcoming holidays.  We’re wishing everyone a happy and safe holiday season!

1. Turkey Skin – On its own, turkey skin can be fatty and hard to digest, but on Thanksgiving it’s particularly bad (just think of the butter, oils and spices rubbed into it). If you must share the turkey with your dog, do peel the skin off and cut the meat up into bite-sized pieces. Also, consider choosing the white meat over the dark for your pooch – it’s a little blander and easier to digest.

2. Cooked Bones – Whether your bird is duck, goose or turkey, do not give the bones to your dog. Any dog cartoon features Fido carrying a bone around in his mouth, but the reality is that a cooked bone is often brittle and sharp pieces can get lodged in your dog’s intestine. Bird bones are hollow and break easily.

3. Gravy/Buttery Side Dishes – This one goes hand-in-hand with the turkey skin. Fatty foods and trimmings can cause Pancreatitis in dogs at worst and diarrhea or vomiting at “best.” Try substituting gravy with a little turkey broth if you really want to give your pup a treat.

4. Aluminum Foil and Plastic Wrap – Dispose of these when you’re done with them. There are two risks here: one, your pet will be licking the fatty substances off the wrappings, and two, swallowing these can cause an intestinal obstruction.

5. Chocolate – Not that we think that you would intentionally feed your dog chocolate (which we all know can be toxic to our canine friends), but since candy is often left out on tables for guests during the holidays, it made the list. Be sure to keep bowls filled with chocolate and other candies out of vision and out of reach of your dog.

6. The Garbage Gan – A frustrated pet who can’t get a scrap out of his usually-generous parents may be tempted to dig around the trash bin and find a good number of the items listed above.

7. The Kitchen – Thanksgiving can be the busiest day of the year for the kitchen and you’ll want to keep your pup out of there. With hot dishes being whisked from one counter to the next, there’s a chance a dog that’s under foot could be burned or cut if something were to shatter.

8. Holiday Plants – Sure it’s Thanksgiving, but a good number of people have already decked the halls with holly by this time. Know that Poinsettias, holly berries, mistletoe and Cedar Christmas trees are toxic to dogs.

9. Decorations – Glass ornaments and candles are just begging for trouble. Like the chocolate, keep these out of reach of your dog.

10. Guests Who Mean Well – Educate your less pet-savvy visitors (and hey, maybe even send them this list). A child may accidentally feed a dog some chocolate and your great aunt might think she’s being nice by sharing her turkey skin.