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Posted on 11-21-2017

Five Tips for a Safe Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year, one in which we reflect on all of the things in our lives that we are grateful for among family, friends and even new friends – both of the human and furry varieties! While this is a festive and cheerful holiday, it can be stressful for pets with new visitors in the house and potentially hazardous decorations and food in sight.

To help keep your pets safe this Thanksgiving, here are five tips to keep in mind.

  • Pet proof your home.

Thanksgiving decorations are beautiful and filled with decorative leaves, berries and acorns. Small decorations such as acorns or berries might look appealing to a dog but could easily become obstructed. Another popular holiday decoration is candles – which add a warm glow to a household but also can be knocked over and start a fire. Keep hazardous decorations higher than nose reach and try to monitor pets around open flames.

  • Know where your pet is while cooking and feasting.

Since the kitchen is usually the hot-spot for Thanksgiving treats, it will most likely be the place in which your pet camps out, hoping that you will look away long enough for them to steal a scrap off the counter. It’s also important to know how far away your pet is from the oven so a nearby nose doesn’t find its way into a hot oven or you don’t trip over your pet while carrying a hot dish. Setting up a pet bed away from the center of the action may allow your pet to still feel like part of the fun without being in the danger zone.

  • Keep routines as normal as possible.

When visitors come and you’re entertaining, it’s common to throw the normal routines out the window. Try to keep feeding time and routine exercise as consistent as you can for your pet, who is likely already feeling like things are different! If you’re gone for a few hours during the day, try to make arrangements for your pet with either a dog walker or a neighbor.

  • Be prepared for potential emergencies.

No matter how prepared you are in advance, sometimes emergencies do happen. Should your pet need immediate attention during the holidays, our doctors at Animal Hospital of Woodstock are on call when needed.  If you have an emergency after hours, please contact us on our emergency line at (815) 236-6873.

  • Review what foods are okay to share from the table and which are harmful.
    • Foods that are okay to share:
      • Fully-cooked turkey
      • Cooked bread
      • Green beans
      • Mashed potatoes
    • Foods to keep away from pets:
      • Raw bread or cookie dough
      • Batters containing raw eggs
      • Grapes
      • Chocolate
      • Onions

We hope that everyone has a great and safe Thanksgiving holiday! We are thankful for each of you and your furry family members. 

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