Turkey DinnerDuring Thanksgiving we all need to be diligent about keeping our dogs safe and as stress free as possible.

If you’re planning a big gathering at your house, some dogs love all the extra attention but if your guy is shy or gets too excited around a lot of people, you may want to prepare a quiet space in another room where they can be away from all the noise and activity.

We all love to give our pooches special treats during the holiday season but please be aware that several items are not good for your dog and some are down right dangerous.

The traditional meal for most of us is a big turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Almost everything we eat on this day is not for doggy consumption. You can give a minimal amounts of plain boneless cooked turkey mixed in with your buddy’s regular food, plain mashed potatoes, plain green beans or carrots but that's pretty much where the list ends.

Do not include anything greasy or fatty items like turkey skin, gravy or butter. Your dog’s digestive tract can’t handle it and it can cause pancreatitis, diarrhea or vomiting. Canine pancreatitis is serious business and can potentially lead to death.

Many other foods are also dangerous or contain ingredients which make them dangerous. Anything with raisins, garlic, onions, grapes, macadamia nuts or the artificial sweetener Xylitol is a very real threat to your dog’s health.

Turkey CarcassOf course we all know chocolate is toxic to dogs and turkey or any poultry bones pose a real danger, especially cooked bones which can easily splinter and get lodged in the throat or block and even puncture the intestinal tract. So take car to get rid of the carcass after you’re done with it. If you’ll be using it later to make stock, put it in a pot or other container and keep it in the fridge.

When it’s time to discard it take it outside to the garbage can. Don’t leave it in your “in house” garbage bin. Also, any table scraps should be put outside along with the carcass. It only takes a few seconds for your four legged friend to get into and devour it or enough of it to cause harm. You don’t want to spend the rest of the day at the vet’s office or emergency vet clinic.

It’s a good idea to have your vets’ or your emergency vet clinics’ phone numbers handy just in case. You can also post Animal Poison Control Center # 800-213-6680.

Often guests will sneak a few treats to your dog under the table. Insist that they refrain from feeding anything to your dog. Many people including dog owners don’t realize the potential dangers of doing so. If you aren’t confident that they will comply, you’re better off putting your dog in a room alone behind closed doors while you all eat. Provide a few safe toys and treats to keep him occupied. His safety needs to override his desire to be around everybody. He can do that later.

So follow these tips and Thanksgiving can be a wonderful day for everyone, including your dog.

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