Thanksgiving is an incredible holiday, but it’s not always so safe for our pets.
With the sweet potatoes, stuffing, pie and, of course, turkey, there are a lot of things to love about Thanksgiving. When most of us think of Thanksgiving, we imagine good food, friends and family, but the reality is that it can be a dangerous time of the year for our pets. And, if you aren’t careful, you may just end up having to spend your Thanksgiving in the emergency animal hospital. But, there is good news. There are many steps you can take to make sure the entire family — including your furry friend — will enjoy a safe and happy Thanksgiving.
#1. Update your pet’s tags.
If you’re planning on having a group of people over to celebrate with you at your house, it will be all too easy for your cat or dog to slip out a door that has been accidentally left open. If your pet gets out, it’s essential for their tags to be up to date, so that, if someone catches them, they can call you or bring them back to you. If your phone number is outdated or you no longer live at that same address, they may not be able to.
#2. Get your pet microchipped.
According to the American Humane Association, there are over 10 million pets that are either stolen or lost every year. And, as we established in #1, with all of the commotion of Thanksgiving, it’s all too easy for your pet to slip out of your home unnoticed. If your pet isn’t wearing their collar or something happens to their tags, microchipping is your only hope for getting them back. Microchips are tiny — about the size of a grain of rice — and they’re affordable, so why wouldn’t you want to get your pet microchipped?
#3. Find a dog sitter.
Are you going to be heading out of town for the holidays? If so, you’ll need to make some arrangements for your pet to be fed and cared for over the next few days. Don’t simply have someone stop by to feed and let your pet relieve themselves; both cats and dogs are social animals, and they aren’t meant to be left by themselves for long periods of time. When they are left alone too long, they might get bored and tear up your home or do something that puts them in danger, like chewing on an electrical cord. Board your pet or find a dog sitter to stay with them until you come home.
#4. Keep up with your dog’s exercise routine.
Whether you’re planning to be home cooking dinner for a group of people or you’ll be traveling for the holiday, it’s tempting to push your pet’s exercise routine aside. After all, you’re incredibly busy! But this is a mistake that will only leave your pet feeling more wound up and anxious than they have to be. Make sure you keep exercising your pet throughout your Thanksgiving preparations; you may even want to exercise them more the day of so that they are at ease.
#5. Distract your pet with toys and rewards.
Pets pick up on tension around them, making them feel tense and anxious. Even the sweetest, most kind-natured animals can lash out when they’re feeling anxious, so it’s important to help your pet relax. One of the most effective ways to do this is to distract them with lots of toys, treats and other rewards.
Check back later for our next blog, where we’ll be going over a few more tips for keeping your pet safe for Thanksgiving. In the meantime, if you have questions or concerns, or your pet is in need of veterinary care in Carroll Gardens, give us a call