Leaves changing colors. Fall clothing. Fall food. Pumpkin Spice Lattes. There’s a lot to be excited about during the fall season. As you start to get all those family plans figured out for Thanksgiving, make sure to keep your furry family members in mind as well. Holiday festivities and the fall season as a whole can be potentially dangerous times for our pets, and we wanted to give you a few reminders of what to look out for while you prepare for the holidays.
We get it. It’s hard to keep your pets out of those massive leaf piles. It’s also extremely tempting to include your pets as family members while we eat and celebrate Thanksgiving, and those cute, pouty faces that they make don’t help very much either. However, it’s important to always put the health and wellbeing of your pet before the photo ops and the laughs. That’s why we’ve decided to give a few tips for you and your pet for the 2020 fall season.
Things to Look Out for This Pawtumn
MIND YOUR YARD
We all know the classic fall tradition of jumping into those massive piles of freshly raked leaves. While fun, many often overlook the amount of bacteria and mold that could be growing amongst those leaves. Your pet jumping into those piles could put them at risk of potentially catching any diseases or illnesses that the bacteria or mold may be carrying.
As the weather is starting to get colder, rodents also start to become more common in homes. Whether it is in your yard or a neighbor’s, be sure to keep an eye on your pets anytime they are outside. Rodenticides are highly fatal to dogs and cats and are common around homes during the colder months of the year. Be sure to contact your veterinarian immediately if you believe your pet may have consumed any poisons.
We’ve all probably done it at some point. It’s hard not to give your pet human food from time to time. However, make sure you’re being extra careful with your Thanksgiving food this year. Here are the 2 major foods you should be keeping away from your pets:
Turkey. Though white meat when unseasoned is ok for your pets, seasoned food with fatty meat and skin is dangerous and problematic for many animals. It is common for Thanksgiving dishes to be seasoned with things like garlic, onions, leeks and chives, all of which can destroy red blood cells in pets and are toxic when consumed.
Desserts. Many of those sweets that we enjoy should absolutely not be given to our pets. Cakes, cookies and pies often contain ingredients like chocolate, raisin and currants. All of said ingredients are toxic to dogs and cats and should be kept to ourselves. Another common ingredient in desserts is xylitol, the sugar-substitute. Xylitol, even in small amounts, is toxic to dogs, so make sure you are aware of what you’re putting in reach of your pets while cooking and baking.
Your plant decorations can pose threats for your pets as well. Flowers and festive plants like amaryllis, Baby’s Breath, Sweet William, ferns, and hydrangeas are common decorative plants that are toxic to dogs and cats. Other popular holiday plants like chrysanthemums, lilies, holly and mistletoe are also toxic and potentially fatal for our pets. If you plan on having any of these plants around the house, make sure you keep them in places where your pet can’t reach or won’t go to, and make sure to call your vet if you believe your pet has ingested any of these plants.
If you’re hosting Thanksgiving festivities at your place, you’ll more than likely be having people over that your pet may not be familiar with. Higher-than-usual noise and activity in the house may cause stress and anxiety to your pet. This can cause your pet to either be shy or excitable and could be rather unpleasant for both your pet and your guests. If this is the case, find a room away from the party and put your pet in there with their favorite toy or food to keep them comfortable.
If your pet isn’t like those mentioned above, and is comfortable around new or unfamiliar people, it is still important to watch them as you welcome and say goodbye to your guests. Open doors leave the opportunity for your four-legged friends to take off and potentially become lost, so make sure you’re always keeping an eye them while your guests are walking in and out.
If you have exotic pets, it is just as important to keep an eye on them as well. Smaller pets and exotics are more prone to stress and anxiety around festivities and large gatherings. Make sure to keep these pets safe and away from groups and noise during your holiday gatherings.
A Word from VO Vets
With all that being said, we wish you and your family the best holiday season this year. Despite the challenges of this past year, we believe there is still a lot for us all to be thankful for, including the pets who have loved us throughout this crazy time at home. Stay safe, enjoy family and friends and Happy Thanksgiving!