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Thanksgiving and your pets: How to keep them safe

Doctor Kelley Gebhardt joins us to answer your all pet questions.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — While you get ready to host family and friends for Thanksgiving, you need to make sure your furry loved ones are safe. Doctor Kelley Gebhardt joins us to answer your all pet questions.

Table Food and keeping the pounds off your pet during the holidays

  • As long as your pet does not have a history of pancreatitis or food sensitivities/allergies, then it is okay to indulge your cat or dog with a bit of table food.
  • Remember to keep the portions small and the food choice healthy.
  • Portion control is the key to keeping pounds off your pet and keeping their intestinal tracts happy. (Tip: make sure that table food is low fat, healthy, and does not make up more than 10% of your pet’s total diet).

Ideas for healthy table foods for your pet

Apple · Banana · Carrots · Cauliflower · Sweet potato/potato no butter or salt · Lean meats (no bones!) · Cucumbers · Egg · Green Beans · Green Peppers · Melon · Air-popped Popcorn · Canned pumpkin · Rice · Plain rice cake · Canned tuna in water · Zucchini

Potentially toxic foods to avoid giving your pet

Grapes · Raisins · Moldy food · Chocolate · Alcohol · Onions and garlic · Raw bread dough · Macadamia nuts · Sugar-free foods containing xylitol 

Don’t give the dog a bone

Bones can break dogs' teeth, get stuck in their mouths/around the lower jaw, and splinter, causing potential intestinal blockages or lacerations, especially after they are cooked.

Don’t be tempted to treat your dog to a bone this holiday.

Take out the trash

Take the trash out often. Make sure the trash cans are properly secured with a lid and/or put out of reach of persistent pets.

Baking bags, disposable dishes, bones, and other discarded food or containers are a huge temptation for dogs and cats. Getting into the trash can lead to gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, intestinal foreign bodies, and toxicities.

Other holiday pet care tips

  • Ask holiday visitors to keep track of their prescription medications.
  • Create a safe space for your pet away from visiting friends and family.
  • Use a thunder shirt for anxious dogs or cats.
  • Before holiday festivities, talk to your regular veterinarian about medications that might help decrease your pet’s anxiety during holiday events.
  • Make sure your pet is wearing a collar or body harness with proper up-to-date tags with your contact information.
  • Is your pet microchipped? If not, contact your regular veterinarian to get your pet microchipped. If they get out of the house or yard, you need multiple ways for them to be reunited with you.