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Thanksgiving Pet Safety

Thanksgiving is a special holiday that brings together family and friends, but it also can carry some hazards for pets. Holiday food needs to be kept away from pets, and pet owners who travel need to either transport their pets safely or find safe accommodations for them at home. Follow these tips to keep your pets healthy and safe during the holiday.

Poison Risks 

Overindulging in the family feast can be unhealthy for humans, but even worse for pets: Fatty foods are hard for animals to digest. Poultry bones can damage your pet’s digestive tract. And holiday sweets can contain ingredients that are poisonous to pets.

  • Keep the feast on the table—not under it. Eating turkey or turkey skin – sometimes even a small amount – can cause a life-threatening condition in pets known as pancreatitis. Fatty foods are hard for animals to digest, and many foods that are healthy for people are poisonous to pets – including onions, raisins and grapes. If you want to share a Thanksgiving treat with your pet, make or buy a treat that is made just for them.
  • No pie or other desserts for your pooch. Chocolate can be harmful for pets, even though many dogs find it tempting and will sniff it out and eat it. The artificial sweetener called xylitol – commonly used in gum and sugar-free baked goods – also can be deadly if consumed by dogs or cats.
  • Yeast dough can cause problems for pets, including painful gas and potentially dangerous bloating.
  • Put the trash away where your pets can’t find it. A turkey carcass sitting out on the carving table, or left in a trash container that is open or easily opened, could be deadly to your family pet. Dispose of turkey carcasses and bones – and anything used to wrap or tie the meat, such as strings, bags and packaging – in a covered, tightly secured trash bag placed in a closed trash container outdoors (or behind a closed, locked door).
  • Be careful with decorative plants. Don’t forget that some flowers and festive plants can be toxic to pets. These include amaryllis, Baby’s Breath, Sweet William, some ferns, hydrangeas and more. The ASPCA offers lists of plants that are toxic to both dogs and cats, but the safest route is simply to keep your pets away from all plants and table decorations.
  • Quick action can save lives. If you believe your pet has been poisoned or eaten something it shouldn’t have, call your veterinarian or local veterinary emergency clinic immediately. You may also want to call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline: 888-426- 4435. Signs of pet distress include: sudden changes in behavior, depression, pain, vomiting, or diarrhea. Contact your veterinarian immediately.

Precautions for Parties

If you’re hosting a party or overnight visitors, plan ahead to keep your pets safe and make the experience less stressful for everyone.

  • Visitors can upset your pets. Some pets are shy or excitable around new people or in crowds, and Thanksgiving often means many visitors at once and higher-than-usual noise and activity levels. If you know your dog or cat is nervous when people visit your home, put him/her in another room or a crate with a favorite toy. This will reduce the emotional stress on your pet and protect your guests from possible injury. If your pet is particularly upset by houseguests, talk to your veterinarian about possible solutions to this common problem.
  • If any of your guests have compromised immune systems (due to pregnancy, some diseases, or medications or treatments that suppress the immune system), make sure they’re aware of the pets (especially exotic pets) in your home so they can take extra precautions to protect themselves.
  • Watch the exits. Even if your pets are comfortable around guests, make sure you watch them closely, especially when people are entering or leaving your home. While you’re welcoming hungry guests and collecting coats, a four-legged family member may make a break for it out the door and become lost.
  • Identification tags and microchips reunite families. Make sure your pet has proper identification with your current contact information – particularly a microchip with up-to-date, registered information. That way, if they do sneak out, they’re more likely to be returned to you. If your pet isn’t already microchipped, talk to us about the benefits of this simple procedure.
  • Watch your pets around festive decorations. Special holiday displays or candles are attractive to pets as well as people. Never leave a pet alone in an area with a lit candle; it could result in a fire. And pine cones, needles and other decorations can cause intestinal blockages or even perforate an animal’s intestine if eaten.

Travel Concerns

Whether you take your pets with you or leave them behind, take these precautions to safeguard them when traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday or at any other time of the year.

  • Your pet needs a health certificate from your veterinarian if you’re traveling across state lines or international borders, whether by air or car. Learn the requirements for any states you will visit or pass through, and schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to get the needed certificate within the timeframes required by those states. More information may be found at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel.
  • Never leave pets alone in vehicles, even for a short time, regardless of the weather.
  • Pets should always be safely restrained in vehicles. This means using a secure harness or a carrier, placed in a location clear of airbags. This helps protect your pets if you brake or swerve suddenly, or get in an accident; keeps them away from potentially poisonous food or other items you are transporting; prevents them from causing dangerous distractions for the driver; and can prevent small animals from getting trapped in small spaces. Never transport your pet in the bed of a truck.
  • Talk with your veterinarian if you’re traveling by air and considering bringing your pet with you. Air travel can put some pets at risk, especially short-nosed dogs. Your veterinarian is the best person to advise you regarding your own pet’s ability to travel.
  • Pack for your pet as well as yourself if you’re going to travel together. In addition to your pet’s food and medications, this includes bringing medical records, information to help identify your pet if it becomes lost, first aid supplies, and other items.
  • Are you considering boarding your dog while you travel? Talk with your veterinarian to find out how best to protect your pet from canine flu and other contagious diseases, and to make sure your pet is up-to-date on vaccines.

Food Safety

Don’t forget to protect your family and loved ones from food-borne illnesses while cooking your Thanksgiving meal. Hand washing, and safe food handling and preparation, are important to make sure your holiday is a happy one. The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers tips for handling, thawing and cooking turkey, as well as saving your leftovers.

We hope you find these tips helpful as we enter the holiday season! Visit our blog for more useful tips!

Turkey & Sweet Potato Treats

We aren’t the only ones who like to celebrate Thanksgiving! Here is an easy recipe for delicious turkey and sweet potato dog treats that your pooch is sure to love!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 sweet potato (cooked and skin removed)
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon 
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley (dried parsley can work as well – just adjust amount accordingly)

To make:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Use a food processor or blender, combine parsley and egg until chopped. Add to sweet potato in a bowl. Add turkey, oats, cinnamon and honey and mix with your hands until combined.

Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.

Using your hands, roll mixture into balls the size of a golf ball. 

Place in oven and cook for 15-20 minutes.

Cool completely before giving treats to your pooch. Remaining treats can be refrigerated in an air tight container. 

They smell good enough for people to eat! For more pet recipes, visit us on Pinterest!  

Black Cats and Halloween

Anyone who has a black cat knows they are just as sweet and lovable as any other cat, but they have long been associated with bad luck and witchery. So how did black cats get such a bad rap?

It started with the Celts…According to Celtic mythology, a fairy named Cat Sith (or Cat Sidhe) changed it’s shape into a black cat and began haunting the Scottish Highlands. While the ‘Fairy Cat’ was feared, the Celts also believed the black cat could bring blessings.

The Middle Ages….Historians believe black cats were often companions to those practicing witchcraft and were therefore guilty by association. Because of this, black cats were all but obliterated. Unfortunately, doing so contributed to half of Europe being wiped out by the Black Plague as there were less cats to kill the rats that were spreading the disease.

Pilgrims at Plymouth…The Puritans took Celtic folklore to heart and associated them with sorcery and witchcraft. Unfortunately, black cats were included in their anti-witch crusades.  

Not all bad…In countries like Japan and the British Islands, black cats were believed to bring good luck and prestige to their households. Ancient Chinese history tells a story of Li Shou, a cat god that protected farmers by eating the rodents that threatened their crops. Black cats were considered sacred and worshiped by ancient Egyptians. 

Black cats are still associated with Halloween today, but we welcome them into our homes with open arms anyway. Just to be on the safe side, please keep your feline friends indoors during this year’s Halloween festivities!

Visit our blog for additional Halloween safety tips for pets!

Happy Halloween!

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Treats

Tis the season for everything pumpkin! Let your pet join in on the fun with this easy and tasty pumpkin treat recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 Cup Canned Pure Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 1/2 Cups Oats

Combine all ingredients until well mixed. Using your hands, roll the mixture into doggie bite-sized balls. Coat the outside with oats so that the snacks don’t stick to each other and store in the fridge until consumed. 

Do you have questions about other safe and healthy snacks for your pet? Ask The Corner Vet

Halloween Safety

It’s a spooky time of year, and our pets want to join in the fun, too! While we get excited about disguising our pet in fun costumes, here are some things to keep in mind as Halloween festivities approach.

Candy is not to share with your furry friends. 
This one likely seems very obvious to you. And while we don’t plan to feed candy to our pets, if it’s left out, they can get into it. Just remember to keep candy out of reach.

Trick or Treaters mean extra traffic at your door.
It’s exciting to see what cute costumes kids are going to wear this year, and though we want to show off the costumes our furry ‘kids’ are wearing, extra knocking, door-bell ringing, and people at your house can be stressful for your pets. To keep everyone extra happy, try to find a safe, quiet place to keep your pet for the evening.

Keep your pets indoors. 
Halloween can be a time for pranks, stealing and other potentially harmful activities. If you are planning to be away from home that night, keep your pets indoors if at all possible, especially cats.

Keep your outdoor cats inside several days before and several days after Halloween.
Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. In fact, many shelters do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution.

Keep Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn out of reach.
Although they are relatively nontoxic, such plants can induce gastrointestinal upset should your pets ingest them in large quantities. Intestinal blockage can even occur if large pieces are swallowed.

Don’t keep lit pumpkins around pets.
Should they get too close, they run the risk of burning themselves or knocking it over and causing a fire.

Keep wires and electric light cords out of reach.
If chewed, your pet could cut himself or herself on shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

If your pet isn’t loving the costume – ditch it.
Let’s be honest, some pets aren’t in to the costume thing. If you get the sense that they really aren’t digging the pirate hat or princess dress, you should probably take it off.

Make sure your pet is wearing a form of ID!
Whether you are bringing your dog out with you, or leaving your cat or dog at home, ensuring they have a proper form of identification is crucial. Providing your pet with a collar tagged with their name and your contact information is the first step, and we highly recommend ensuring your pet has a microchip, or permanent form of identification.

You can get a microchip for your pet at any The Corner Vet clinic for only $40! That’s a small price to pay to get you beloved furry kid home safe.

Have a happy and safe Halloween

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