Relax, enjoy and celebrate this holiday with your family, friends and dogs and cats. That’s the way most of us remember the Thanksgiving holiday. Unfortunately, 2020 has been an unusually tough year as we struggled to ward off Covid-19, stay healthy and remain employed. The stress alone is overwhelming! Stress doesn’t just affect people, it affects pets just as much and in some cases, even more. Pets are so deeply attached to their owners they sense the confusion and anguish their owners experience.
The good news is… since most of us are still confined to our homes, we can share this wonderful holiday with our beloved dogs and cats. Think out of the box and turn this Thanksgiving holiday into the joyous occasion its meant to be along with Fido and Fluffy.
Take your dog on that extra walk, play a game of ball or give’em a couple belly rubs. A nice cat-nip mouse will energize your feline and you’ll enjoy a few laughs watching your kitty play.
Pet video’s engage many pets while we cook up a storm in the kitchen. Remember pets are tantalized by the sight, sounds and especially the smells so brush up on your pet health IQ to ensure this holiday is safe and enjoyable for you and your pets.
Pet proof lids on trash containers help to avoid tummy troubles especially with chow hounds. Be sure to keep the feast on, not under the table. Throw out the turkey string, foil and pop up thermometer.
Healthy pets often enjoy a meal of lean turkey, green beans and sweet potatoes just as much as their owners. Hold the dressing and gravy for yourself. Remember throw out the scraps…if you’re not going to eat it, neither should your pet.
Here are a few of Dr. Carol’s Pet Precautions to remember so you don’t end up in the Pet ER this Thanksgiving Day Holiday.
Holistic Herbal Stress Remedy: Bach’s 5 Flower Rescue Remedy is a natural mixture of five flowers. Place a few drops in your pet’s mouth, food or water bowl. It is safe and effective to relieve anxiety for you and your pet.
House Plants to Avoid with Pets: Holiday Plants are primarily a problem for cats versus dogs.
Place plants up high out of paw reach or consider safe alternatives like artificial arrangements made from silk.
- Lilly’s are lovely but many varieties: Tiger, Asian, Japanese Show, Stargazer and Casa Blanca can cause kidney failure in Cats
- Poinsettias are often talked about, but are very overrated. At worst they can cause an upset tummy.
- Amaryllis can cause vomiting and diarrhea
Toxic Pet Holiday Foods & Beverages for Dogs Cats
- Alcohol: it causes pets to get drunk, weak, become depressed and may lead to a coma
- Yeast Dough is a no-no. Uncooked raw yeast dough is problematic, especially if your dog decides to eat it. Once ingested, the raw dough rises in your dog’s stomach and leads to a painful stomach ache, bloat and vomiting. Dogs can become disoriented and depressed. The breakdown product of rising dough is alcohol, which can cause alcohol poisoning. Many cases require surgical removal of the dough. Eating just a couple bites isn’t worth the risk for dogs.
- Chocolate (bakers, semisweet, milk & dark) for dogs: if eaten this can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, hyperactivity and an elevated heart rate. This can occur if a 10 pound dog eats ¼ ounce of baking chocolate. This is not usually a problem in cats.
- Tobacco products can be fatal for dogs and cats. Signs of nicotine poisoning usually develop in 15-45 minutes. Signs in pets include excitement, salivation, panting, vomiting and diarrhea. Then muscle weakness, twitching, depression, coma, and even cardiac arrest may occur.
- Coffee (ground, beans, and chocolate covered espresso beans) Coffee contains caffeine, which is a stimulant, leading to restless pets with increased heart rates, tremors and/or epileptic seizures
- Macadamia Nuts can cause muscular weakness, depression, vomiting, and disorientation along with tremors, stomach pain and muscle stiffness in dogs. This usually lasts from one to three days. Most recover and are fine. This only applies to canines.
- Grapes and Raisins are toxic to pets: The exact mechanism of action and toxic principal are still being determined. Eating 1 or 2 grapes can cause kidney failure in canines and cats eating raisins risk kidney failure.
- Watch for the string used to tie up your turkey or roast as well as the little red “pop up” thermometers. Dogs and cats love to eat these tasty treats which can cause intestinal blockage.
No Bones, cooked bones splinter and can lacerate your pets stomach and intestines
Dr. Carol’s TIP: Turkey contains the amino acid tryptophan, which has a calming effect for people and pets. That’s part of the reason why we often feel a little tired after our Thanksgiving feast. A little lean turkey is healthy, calming and nutritious for nervous dogs and cats
Thanksgiving People Foods that are Good for Pets:
- Pumpkin is rich in Vitamin A. It is also a good source of fiber. Pumpkin seeds are high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. Those are the good fats. It is low in fat. The problem, however, is pumpkin pie. It is a high-calorie food because it is made with eggs, sugar, evaporated milk, and baked in a high-fat pie crust. Try making a tofu pumpkin pie as a low fat alternative, and you and your pet can both enjoy this tasty treat together!
- Cranberries contain lots of vitamin C as well as fiber and manganese. In addition, they contain an antioxidant that helps to prevent urinary tract infections.
- Sweet potatoes contain vitamin C and beta-carotene and potassium. The skin is a great source of fiber and beta-carotene.
- Green beans are a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese. They also contain vitamin A, fiber, potassium, folate and iron.
All in all, being stuck at home has some benefits. Pets won’t feel forgotten or like they’ve been left out of the festivities this year. Fido and Fluffy will surely receive all kinds of extra attention.
Why not let Fido and Fluffy get into the gift of giving this holiday season by making a donation of food, litter, or toys to your local shelter or favorite charity and put it in your pet’s name.
Always be prepared and remember the best gift of all is your LOVE!