Thanksgiving is coming, protect your dog, and your turkey

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turkey thiefThanksgiving is just around the corner, and for Americans it is a very special holiday for gathering family together and celebrating.  For dogs this can also be a wonderful time, their owners have time off work, which can mean longer walks, more cuddles and attention, and the possibility of special treats that don’t come along every day.  However, holidays also come with dangers and it is important for all pet owners to be aware and proactive in keeping our dogs safe from harm.

Thanksgiving smells are foreign and delicious to dogs.  They may be more motivated than ever to beg, borrow, and steal whatever they can get their little paws on and if they are successful they will gobble down their treats in a big hurry.  Here are some holiday tips to keep your dog out of harms way.

First off, keep a very close eye on the dinner table, never leave it unattended, and put all leftovers away as soon as you are finished eating.  Turkey bones are very dangerous for dogs.  They pose a serious choking hazard for your dog and can lead to an unpleasant and costly emergency trip to the veterinarian.

Secondly, ensure that the garbage is secure so your dog doesn’t go through it looking for some roast beast, especially turkey fat that you have thrown out. Turkey fat can cause pancreatitis in dogs, which can be deadly.

As tempting as it is, and as hard as it is to resist the pathetic look on your begging dog’s face, don’t feed Fido scraps from your holiday dinner. Stuffing, pies, cookies, and other rich foods are inappropriate for dogs and will almost certainly make them sick, which will also bring you grief when you have to get up in the middle of the night to let them out.
Lastly, remember that many dogs are uncomfortable around large groups of people, especially people they don’t know. Likewise, some people are very uncomfortable around dogs, and your pet will sense that and may be behave abnormally as a result.  As well, with many people coming and going there is a danger that the dog will slip out through a door left open and disappear.  So, to keep everyone safe and comfortable it may be worth considering putting your dog somewhere quiet and safe while the party goes on.
Make sure this Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday is as safe and happy as possible, for everyone involved.