How to Keep Your Pet Safe This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday of many because it’s a time when we get together with loved ones, give thanks, watch football, and, of course, FEAST! We want your four-legged friends to enjoy this time of year, too, but we also want them to be safe from the food and weather-related dangers. Consider the following Thanksgiving pet safety tips by Kootenai Animal Hospital in Post Falls, ID to make your turkey day with your dog or cat a happy one.
Thanksgiving Pet Safety in Post Falls

Good Table Food vs. Bad Table Food

With those big eyes staring up at you and that soft chin resting on your knee, it can be hard to resist giving your pet some scraps from your Thanksgiving dinner. Although there are some table foods like green beans and other green veggies that are harmless to pets there are others that aren’t, so it’s important to know the difference. Remember to check your trash can to make sure it’s securely closed and inaccessible by your pet, so they don’t go digging for scraps.

Turkey: Turkey is a lean protein that provides many health benefits to both pets and people, so feel free to share a few scraps with your fur baby. Just be sure to give them only the white meat and to remove any excess skin or fat. Too much fatty food can cause pancreatitis, which can leave your pet in pain. It’s also important not to feed your pet any turkey with bones in it, since bones can lead to digestive and obstruction issues.

Mashed Potatoes: If not prepared with a great deal of dairy products like cheese, butter, or sour cream, potatoes are typically safe to feed to your pet. The gravy, however, is not, due to its high fat content.

Onions: Onions and other alliums (garlic, scallions, etc.) are also a no-no for pets. In large amounts, these foods can be toxic to your pet and can affect the red blood cells, leading to anemia, so if you’re feeding your pet scraps, make sure they’re free of these ingredients.

Sweet Foods: On the list of sweet foods that should never be fed to dog or cats are grapes, raisins, chocolate, and food with xylitol (sugar substitute). These foods contain toxic ingredients that can cause a number of health problems for your pet, including vomiting, diarrhea, hypoglycemia, and even kidney failure.

Cold Weather Safety

Here in Idaho, late fall temps can get pretty chilly, so we at Kootenai Animal Hospital want to remind you to keep your pet warm and healthy during the cooler months of the year. Of course, the one obvious way to keep your pet warm is to keep them indoors and limiting their playtime and walk time outdoors when temps are frigid. You may even want to consider purchasing a dog or cat sweater to provide your pet with an extra layer of warmth and protection, especially if you have a hairless or short-haired pet.

Another potential cold weather danger is antifreeze. Many antifreeze products are made with ethylene glycol, which creates a sweet smell and taste. This is what attracts so many animals to it and causes them to drink it, but ingesting even a couple table spoons can be deadly. To protect your pet, switch to an antifreeze brand that’s made with propylene glycol, which, although still dangerous if ingested, is much less toxic. You can also simply be mindful of any antifreeze spills in your garage or driveway, and make sure the containers are properly sealed and stowed away, out of your pet’s reach.

If you ever suspect that your pet has ingested antifreeze or a toxic food, or if you have any questions about these Thanksgiving pet safety tips, contact Kootenai Animal Hospital in Post Falls at (208) 773-6000.

 

Pet Safety For Halloween

Halloween Pet Safety Tips in Holmdel, NJ

The Halloween season may be fun for us but there are many seasonal dangers that can affect our furry friends. The veterinary team at Kootenai Animal Hospital is committed to keeping our patients safe and healthy during the Halloween season and we’re here to be your partner in your pet’s care. Explore some of the most common Halloween season dangers detailed below, and as always, contact us immediately to speak to Dr. Rogers and the team if you have any questions or if you suspect that your pet is in an emergency situation. Prompt treatment is often the best means of getting your pet back on the road to good health as quickly as possible.

Jack-o-Lanterns, Candles, and Fires, Oh My!

Jack-o-Lanterns are some of the most popular Halloween decorations, and while they can be cute, they can also be quite dangerous! Anytime lit candles are within your pet’s reach, precautions should be taken to ensure that your pet stays safe. We recommend using battery operated candles in your carved pumpkins so that if they are knocked over by your pet, the danger of hot wax and burns is eliminated.

Bonfires can also be dangerous for our pets, especially when they spark. Our pets may not realize how dangerous a fire is and can venture too close, so it’s important that you keep an eye on your pet and make sure they are always supervised around fires.

Sweet Poison: The Danger of Halloween Candy For Pets

Candy, especially sugar-free candy and chocolate, are extremely dangerous for our pets if consumed! These treats contain ingredients that can be toxic for them. If your pet eats any candy, please contact our team right away so we can assess the situation and determine if your pet needs immediately treatment.

Halloween Costume Dangers for Pets

This may not seem like a real danger, but trust us, Halloween costumes have been known to cause many hazards for our pets! If you’re dressing your pet up for Halloween, t’s so important to ensure that your pet is comfortable in their costume and isn’t struggling to get out of it, which can cause them to injure themselves. Never keep your pet in costume if they are unattended and always keep an eye on the situation, watching for signs of discomfort or irritation.