Holiday Health & Safety Reminders for Pets

by Loree Walden, Marketing Manager, Yavapai Humane Society

November starts the holiday season and a time when food and decorations start to become abundant around our homes! Some of those foods and most of those decorations aren’t safe for our pets, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to remind everyone about things to beware of as the holidays approach.

Thanksgiving is a time for potential dangers around the house. Keep your food on the table, not under it!

Turkey and turkey skin, sometimes even a small amount, can cause a life-threatening condition in pets known as pancreatitis. Fatty foods are hard for animals to digest and many foods that are healthy for people are poisonous to pets, including onions, garlic, raisins and grapes.

If you want to give your pet a special Thanksgiving treat, give them a made-for-pets chew bone, or make them a special dinner by taking their regular food and adding a few tidbits of turkey, vegetables (either sweet potato or green beans) and a few dribbles of gravy.

Thanksgiving includes a lot of baking. Don’t spoil your pet’s holiday by giving him access to raw yeast bread dough. When a dog or cat ingests raw bread dough, the yeast continues to convert the sugars in the dough to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol. This can result in bloated drunken pets, which could become a life threatening emergency requiring hospitalization.

Keep your pets away from chocolate — dogs love the smell of it and will sniff it out! But it can be very dangerous, even deadly, when consumed by pets. Also, an artificial sweetener called xylitol, which is commonly used in gum and sugar-free baked goods, can be deadly to both cats and dogs.

Holiday decorations and candles are attractive to pets as well as people. Never leave a pet alone with a lighted candle, as it could result in a fire! Pine cones, needles and other decorations can cause intestinal blockage or even perforate an animal’s intestines.

Lastly, please make sure your pet is properly identifiable. Making sure they are microchipped and having the information up to date is even more important. Have a collar and ID tag on them, just in case Fido decides to bolt when you open the door to visitors.

By taking a few extra precautions, the holidays can be a safe and fun time! Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at Yavapai Humane Society!