• Traci Wilkerson Steckel

Thanksgiving Pet Safety

Updated: Jun 24

Happy Thanksgiving Eve everyone!

Many of you are starting your cooking and prepping tonight while some of you have already begun or will in the wee hours.

Thanksgiving is such a fun time when we may have more people in and out of our house than normal, and tend to have a lot of tastier treats and foods around. This can be such a wonderful time for us to spend with our friends and families, but be sure your furry family members are enjoying it just as much.

Before you begin your cooking, spree and guests start arriving, keep a few things in mind. Adding a pet into the mix can be the perfect recipe for disaster, so think about leaving Tabitha and Charlie OUT of the kitchen!

If you don’t, you may not notice your pets grabbing a taste of something you have sitting on the kitchen table to cool or even catch them snatching up a few ingredients that accidentally fell on the floor. Some of these ingredients can be toxic while others are just not healthy for them to eat.

Another danger could be that your pet simply wants to “help” and get caught between your legs at the worst possible time. Ever try balancing a large hot pan of dressing with a cat or dog between your legs? Maybe an act you don’t want to perform! Dropping a hot pan of anything can result in burning yourself or your pet and this is just not going to end well.

Once you have prepared your food for the gathering, be sure to put things out of your pet’s reach. If you have pets that are used to large and loud crowds, just make sure that you provide the safest environment as possible.

Create and print out signs letting guests know to please watch for pets, not to let them out, and not to feed them. Place the signs appropriately near the entrance/exits, and near where you’ll have food staged and where your guests will be seated. If you have a gift exchange, be sure to keep small pieces of paper, ribbons, and bows out of your pet's reach as these may also be harmful.

If your pets are not used to crowds, and the absolute safest advice I can give you is to put your pets in an area that makes them feel comfy and safe away from the hustle and bustle of the festivities. Get the kennel all snugly or just take their bed into a room where friends and family will not be entering. Again, another great sign to make if your pet’s running free in a room, reminding guests to not let your pet out of his safe space.

At times, even the most “well adjusted” pets may act out of the “ordinary” and it might be best to keep pets out of harm’s way in a kennel or a quiet and comfy room. It is always the safest way to keep them from being accidentally stepped on, let outside, or given food that can be harmful or make them ill.

We hope that you will enjoy your Thanksgiving with your pets. This year is our first without our dear spokesdog Lexi, as she passed in October. We are so very thankful for her long life, and the love that we shared with her. We are all very thankful for each of you and hope you have a very warm and safe Thanksgiving.

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