While home-cooked food — and lots of it — is a central theme at Thanksgiving, your pets will be far better served not celebrating the holiday as many of us do, by overeating.

With that in mind, the San Diego Humane Society and other animal experts have a bountiful supply of safety tips to keep your four-legged friends healthy this holiday.

San Diego Humane recommends feeding pets their regular diet and usual treats to keep their digestive tracts healthy. They note that if pets have no known food allergies or history of stomach sensitivity and you want to share some traditional food with them, choose a small amount of lean white turkey meat with no skin, bones or fat.

If you have guests, ask them not to share their food with your pets. One idea San Diego Humane suggests: Prepare some sealed snack bags in advance and let your guests use those treats instead of offering food from their plates.

The Humane Society suggests not sharing prepared holiday dishes, some of which can include ingredients that could sicken your pet. Specific recommendations of items to avoid include the following foods that can cause anything from vomiting and diarrhea to liver failure or pancreatitis:

  • Bones, skin, turkey fat and gravy;
  • Stuffing and other dishes with onions, garlic, chives, nuts, grapes, raisins, chocolate or xylitol;
  • Anything cooked with butter;
  • Desserts.

Other tips from pet experts include:

  • Feed your pet food in their bowl rather than from the table, mostly to prevent begging for more.
  • Keep all food and trash out of reach.
  • Provide access to a quiet place to retreat; give your pet the option to step away to an enclosed room with their favorite toys and bed.
  • Keep fresh water available to drink.
  • Maintain your pet’s usual routine, both mealtime and playtime.
  • Keep your pet’s collar on and make sure they have a tag with your current contact information on it.
  • Watch your decorations because some flowers and plants are toxic to cats and dogs.
  • Supervise your pets around kids, who may not understand how to approach or pet your cat or dog properly.
  • Be mindful of your pets’ whereabouts to avoid tripping over them and to stay ahead of potential escapes.
  • Don’t waste any time if you think your cat or dog has been poisoned or eaten something they shouldn’t have; call your veterinarian immediately or the ASPCA at (888) 426-4435.

Experts also suggest giving your pets a treat dispenser, such as a Kong for dogs, that rewards them as they remove items from inside of it. Toys can provide activity, distraction and comfort, so offer different kinds of toys and new ones.

For more suggestions, visit sdhumane.org/thanksgiving and aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/thanksgiving-safety-tips

Source Article