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7 Tips to Keep Your Pet Happy & Safe on Turkey Day!

As pet parents, we want to spend Turkey Day with all our family including our fur babies. But with all the hustle and bustle of getting the bird in the oven, the center pieces on the tables arranged perfectly, and making certain that there is enough wine to go around, our homes can quickly become very stressful and can create some unexpected dangers for our little fur babies.

Here are a few tips to help keep all four-legged family members safe and happy this Thanksgiving to help avoid the blues for your pet or any unwanted trips to the ER vet:

    • Offer a safe haven for your pet to get away from noise and stress triggers.
      • A pet that normally enjoys company may very easily start to feel overwhelmed in a house full of people.
      • If your pet is crate-trained, then place them in the crate with their favorite toy or blanket for reassurance. Then cover the crate with a thick towel or blanket to darken the environment and to also help buffer loud noises. Your pet will hopefully feel safe in this comfortable environment.
    • Use Pheromone Aromatherapy that replicates the memory of a snuggle from “momma” cat or dog.
      • Feliway and Adaptil are pheromones used to naturally reduce stress and anxiety in your pet and can be used for a variety of stressors. Rolling Hills Pet Clinic offers the diffusers, sprays, and collars, which have worked wonders for many of our patients with mild anxieties.
    • Give them a “hug” with an anxiety wrap.
      • Similar to swaddling infants, this wraps apply gentle, constant pressure to help relieve stress and anxiety. It is a drug-free way to safely, effectively, and inexpensively calm your pet. These are available at our clinic or online.
    • When hugs aren’t enough, talk to our vets about the anti-anxiety medications that can be prescribed.
      • Many of these medications are fast acting and can used only when needed. They also don’t cause the pets to be overly sedate, but instead help to take the edge off a stressful situation.
    • Not all guests are savvy on what human foods are OK for pets to eat.
      • Any food that isn’t a regular part of a pet’s diet can potentially cause issues ranging from a few days of diarrhea to severe cases of pancreatitis.
      • High-fat foods can cause a dog or cat’s pancreas over produce enzymes intended to digest the fat and those same enzymes can end up digesting the pancreas itself.
      • Instruct guests to ignore those “adorable puppy dog eyes” and assure them that your pets are well fed, regardless of what Fido’s eyes maybe telling them.
      • Alcohol poisoning is another come reason for ER vet trips. This may be caused from unattended libations or even from unbaked dough; yeast works by releasing ethanol and carbon dioxide to make the dough rise. This same action can cause severe bloating from the release of gas, and possible poison your pet,. This is because of their inability to breakdown the ethanol in the stomach, which can cause extreme bloating.
    • Avoid leaving pets unattended around the food preparation or disposal areas.
      • If there is a will, there is a way and I speak from experience. My 8 pound, Pomeranian was caught one year on the kitchen table inside the turkey helping himself to some stuffing. Luckily, he was interrupted and couldn’t finish his little snack, which saved me a trip to the ER vet.
      • Other dogs have been known to eat foreign bodies from the trash can or the gravel that had turkey grease poured on it. Ouch!
    • Have identification on your pets.
      • If your pet does manage to get free and run away, make sure they have proper and up to date identification with your contact information, so you can be quickly reunited.
      • Permanent identification, such as microchips, are best since pet’s collar or ID tags can fall off.

Hopefully, these tips will help you and your family have a wonderful and memorable Thanksgiving. Plus, with some preparation and awareness you can gain peace of mind during Thanksgiving. Let’s be honest, we’ll need all we can get!

If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding your pet’s health or behavior, don’t hesitate to call us at 520.790.4871.


Rolling Hills Pet Clinic vets and support staff are here to help!