As we approach Turkey Day, here is what your clients should know when it comes to giving their pets a great and safe Thanksgiving
With the Thanksgiving holiday, most houses across the country fill up with loved ones, food, and family pets. While it is the season to give thanks, for some, it is also time to give pets food under the table or on their own plate.
However, it is important for clients to understand the risks of the food on their plates to keep their pets safe and out of their local emergency room or veterinary clinic. To help educate clients, Heart + Paw's Amber Karwacki, DVM, offered these tips to share with pet owners to keep everyone healthy and happy this Thanksgiving.1
Be our guest
With guests, it is crucial to be mindful of the reaction pets may have with new or a lot of people in your home. According to Karwacki,1 one way to help pets is to prepare a separate room with their pet’s bed and favorite toys in it. This room gives the pet a way to escape the excitement happening within the house. Karwacki also suggested the client discuss anxiety medication or pheromone therapy that could help their pet be more relaxed during the holiday season with their veterinarian.
If any guests bring plants as gifts, clients should be aware of plants that are harmful to pets if ingested. The most common toxic fall plants for both cats and dogs are the Autumn Crocus, Chrysanthemums (also known as mums), and acorns fallen from oak trees.1 If a pet parent suspects their pet got ahold of one of these plants, let them know it is crucial they reach out to their veterinarian immediately.
Pumpkin and Peanut Butter Treats
To give your pet a pet-friendly treat, Heart + Paw’s Karwacki shared this recipe for clients or your own dog!1:
2 ½ cups of whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons peanut butter
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup canned pumpkin
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine together flour and cinnamon
Whisk together eggs, pumpkin, and peanut butter
Add the flour mix to the pumpkin mix until combined, the dough will be a little dry
Roll the dough to ½ inch thickness and use cookie cutters to make fun shapes
Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 40 minutes (until hard)
Time to eat
Most pet owners will give their pets their own plates from the table. However, not everything that owners think is safe for their pet is. Karwacki encouraged veterinary professionals to discuss the importance of not giving their dogs any turkey skin or dark meat. Because the skin is so high in fat, it can be hard for dogs to digest even small amounts. She also cautioned that certain everyday foods, like garlic and onion, are toxic to pets, so be sure owners are aware of that.
If pet owners want to make their pet a meal, Karwacki recommends they make a chicken with no skin or seasoning, sweet potato, and pet owners can even add in baby carrots for an extra crunch. Check out Karwacki's pumpkin and peanut butter treat recipe in the sidebar for a pet safe holiday treat.
When the party’s over
As your client is cleaning up from Thanksgiving dinner, any leftovers from making the turkey – such as the carcass, bones, and string— as well as other trash from the dinner can be dangerous for pets. Karwacki suggested that pet owners make sure their counters are free of food or unwatched trash. Anything thrown out should also be properly stored in the garbage bag and out of reach for all pets.
HEART + PAW VETERINARIAN SHARES 4 TIPS TO KEEP YOUR PET SAFE THIS THANKSGIVING SEASON PLUS A BONUS RECIPE. News release. Heart + Paw. November 2, 2022. Acessed November 22, 2022.