Mmm… Thanksgiving is so close we can almost taste the turkey. Soon there will be unusual people in the house (or if your family is like mine, really unusual) and splendid smells will be wafting through the air. It is a time for shameless gluttony and celebration and it is easy to get swept away in the fun. We love our pets and want them to share in the experience with us. However, pets have different dietary needs and responses than we do so here are some tips to keep your pet healthy and happy this Thanksgiving.

Do I Know You? Let’s table the food for a minute.  Some pets are super social… real party animals. They are excited to meet new people and pets alike. However, some are not and it is important to know which type your pet is and handle the day accordingly for them. What is a fun day for you can be quite stressful for them.

    • If your pet is shy or has “stranger danger” type reactions to new people or animals, you will want to consider dedicating a space, like a quiet bedroom, just for them so they can be separate from the merrymaking.
    • This is especially important if you are expecting guests with young children who can be loud, unpredictable, and don’t always know that they should not get in an animal’s space.


I’ll Have My Usual: We love our pets. We love them so much and we want to show it by sharing the yummiest meal of the year with them. But let’s stop for a moment to make sure we are not unintentionally causing them digestive distress with our good intentions.

    • Never give your pet turkey with bones in it. Poultry bones can splinter causing serious internal harm.
    • Rich, fatty foods can cause pancreatitis in humans and animals. However, pets are particularly intolerant of high-fat foods, even in small amounts so avoid giving them dark meat or anything with butter or salt. Inflammation of the pancreas can be extremely painful for them.
    • Don’t forget the usual suspects: grapes, raisins, chocolate, garlic, onions, macadamia nuts, and dairy. These are all considered toxic to cats and dogs.
    • You can spoil them by giving extra pet treats or, if you must, a few small, well-cooked, pieces of unsalted and unsweetened white meat, green beans, carrots, or sweet potatoes (no butter).
    • But remember, the healthiest food for your pet is their pet food.

Keep these things in mind and you and your pet can both have a fun and safe holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving!