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Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips – Freshpet

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Turkey, decorations, and time with family and friends – these are the things that make Thanksgiving special. Unfortunately, they can also pose a risk to your beloved pets. We’ve put together six tips to help keep your pet safe during all of your Thanksgiving celebrations.

Save the food for human guests

As tempting as it may be to give your pet a little treat off the table, try to resist. Fatty foods are very difficult for animals to digest, so turkey or even turkey skin can cause them to develop pancreatitis – a life-threatening condition that causes inflammation of the pancreas. In addition to the risk of developing pancreatitis, many of the ingredients found in Thanksgiving dishes, such as onions, garlic, raisins, and chocolate, are toxic to pets. For more information on human foods your pet should avoid, see the ASPCA comprehensive list.

Make a plate just for her

It goes without saying that you’d want your pet to attend the Thanksgiving celebrations, after all, they are family! A great way to do this is to put together a plate that they are safe to enjoy while everyone else is eating. For the main course, try our Vital® Grain-Free Turkey Recipe with Cranberries and Blueberries and add one or more items from our list of animal-friendly human foods for a side dish!

Take care of guests

Your Thanksgiving celebration this year is likely to be smaller than previous years, but even if you only have one or two people, keep an eye on your pet’s behavior. Having extra people around the house can make some pets feel shy or nervous while others get overly excited. In either situation, pets can attempt to escape and are at risk of being lost. To keep them from leaving the house, give your pet their own space to take a break from the excitement. A guest room is great, but even a box or tall self will work fine as long as it’s not exposed to the noise and has space for a comfortable bed, water, and your favorite toys.

Make sure your ID is up to date

In the event your pet escapes your home, a microchip is your best chance to find their way home. Studies have shown that the return rate was 20 times higher in cats and 2.5 times higher in microchipped dogs. Before Thanksgiving, take a moment to double-check your pet’s microchip information and make sure the details are up to date. If your pet doesn’t have a microchip, make sure they have a secure collar with an ID tag.

Keep the festive decorations out of reach

We’re not the only ones who love Thanksgiving decorations – our pets often take an interest in them, too. Natural decorations such as flowers, greens or pine cones are beautiful, but should be kept away from four-legged participants. When consumed, they can cause intestinal blockage or perforation, and some plants and flowers are highly toxic. Candles also create a cozy ambience, but should be kept out of the reach of a curious paw or a wagging tail. The ASPCA poison control center has a detailed list of all poisonous plants and foods, as well as the number of a hotline that you can call immediately.

Secure the garbage

Even the best-mannered pets can’t help but be tempted by Thanksgiving trash. So make sure they can’t turn the junk into an all-you-can-eat buffet. In addition to the risk of pancreatitis or poisoning from eating unsafe human food, there is also the added risk of suffocation on bones or packaging. Dispose of all waste in a bin with a secure lid or in another room behind a closed door.

From our Freshpet family to yours, we hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

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Robert Dunfee