What are you thankful for? Here at the Humane Society of the Black Hills, we are thankful for animals, which is why we have developed these tips for you to keep your pets safe while you celebrate your Thanksgiving festivities.

  1. The food stays on the table, not under it. Many items on the Thanksgiving menu are dangerous for your pets. Turkey bones, like most poultry bones, can be dangerous for your pet’s digestive tract. In fact, even the turkey and fatty skin can be problematic and lead to issues like pancreatitis if you let your pet overindulge in the feast. But it’s not just the turkey. Be aware there are many different foods and ingredients in your Thanksgiving meal that can be harmful for your pet: raisins, onions, raw dough yeast, and sweeteners, for example. Some foods in small portions can be safe for your pet, so just make sure you are careful and research how every ingredient may affect your pet. After the meal is over, make sure your pet doesn’t get the leftovers. Discard scraps in a closed trash can that your animal can’t get in or tip over.
  2. Have your pets prepared for the increase in visitors. If you are hosting a Thanksgiving dinner celebration, you should prepare your pet. Some pets get stressed and anxious from the sudden influx of people and should be isolated from the commotion. With the door opening and closing so frequently with guests coming and going, make sure your pet doesn’t escape. And make sure all visitors, especially the little ones, are aware not to tease the animals with food, and not to bother the animal if it’s sleeping, eating, or showing signs it needs space.
  3. Traveling with pets takes extra effort. If you are going away for Thanksgiving, you need to have a plan for your pet. If you are going to have a friend watch your pet, make sure they are prepared, are informed of your pet’s routines, and know how to contact you in an emergency. If you bring your pet with you, pack a bag for your pet and bring medicines, foods, collars and leashes, veterinarian and vaccination records, and comforting toys and blankets. Also, it might be a good idea to get a new, cheap identification tag for your pet’s collar with your destination’s address and a good phone number to reach you, in case it gets lost when away from home.

The turkey and pig-skin aren’t the only animals around for Thanksgiving. Let’s keep all our furry family members safe. And on behalf of the Humane Society of the Black Hills, I wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving!