Ah Thanksgiving. A holiday that is as much about shared feasts of turkey, stuffing, and pies as it is about remembering to give thanks for the abundance of blessings that have been bestowed upon us. The start of the “holiday season,” Thanksgiving is the last holiday before the world (at least my part of it) fully unleashes Christmas. So in honor of celebrating Thanksgiving with pets, read on for holiday specific pet safety tips and a Thanksgiving day recipe for cats.
First, Be Thankful
I am thankful for so many aspects of my life. I have worked hard for and been blessed with a great job, wonderful coworkers, a loving family, and the ability to adventure and travel. The companionship of my pets is another constant source of joy. The ability to hike with my dog and be greeted everyday at the door by my cat makes each day just a little brighter. And yes, it is the cat who greets me at the door. Glia (my dog) is normally lazily stretching as she gets of the couch when I enter the house. The cat, Frisko, is typically waiting by the back door.
Let me know what you are most thankful for this year in the comments below. How do your pets make your world a brighter place?
Thanksgiving with Pets: Safety Tips
My two wonderful animals are a large part of my life, and I am sure many of you feel the same way about your pets. As a result, our pets are typically around during the holidays, spending time with the family. Since holidays change our routine, new hazards are present. Consider the following safety tips to avoid emergencies on or after Thanksgiving.
- Avoid feeding your pet poultry bones. Cooked bones can splinter and cause irritation in your pets stomach/intestines. Large bones can cause blockages.
- Avoid feeding table scrapes – especially fatty foods like turkey skin or gravy. This can lead to the development of a disease called pancreatitis (dogs are especially prone to developing this disease after eating fatty foods). Pancreatitis can be a severe disease process requiring hospitalization to treat. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, inappetance, and abdominal pain.
- Avoid feeding table scrapes reason #2 – many foods cooked at Thanksgiving include onions and garlic. Did you know that consuming onions and garlic can lead to dogs and cats developing anemia?
- Dispose of food related trash in a safe place. I have had an emergency call from an owner whose dogs got into the old grease used to fry a turkey (they ended up doing fine but with lots of diarrhea). I had a cat who ate the paper lining from a raw meat package. The cat subsequently needed me to help remove the paper from his rectum when it got hung up. Friends have told me tales of pets who ate pieces of the turkey carcass with strings attached and ended up needing foreign body surgery. The list of stories of food garbage consumptions woes is long. Keep your pets safe by keeping them away from the garbage can.
Whether you are the one traveling or others are traveling to you, keep the following tips in mind.
- Make sure your pet has a quite and safe space to relax. Many dogs get excited when visitors arrive, but others can be stressed by large gatherings. Making sure your dog or cat has room to escape the party is important. And if your dog gets over-excited, it is nice to have a room for them to relax in.
- Secure doors so pets can’t escape. Visitors mean frequent openings of doors. Make sure you have a system in place to make sure your indoor pets stay inside.
- Properly restrain pets during car rides. Cats and dogs should ride in pet carriers (tips on getting your pet used to a carrier can be found here) or with a secure harness attached to a seat. This helps protect them in the event of a crash. It also helps protect you from becoming distracted while driving.
- Make sure you have necessary travel documentation. Especially if you are flying, you will need a health certificate and possible other documentation.
For more information, the American Veterinary Medical Association, has a great Thanksgiving Pet Safety article too.
Now for the feast: A Thanksgiving Treat for Cats
Over the last few months, I offered up two recipes for dog treats. This month, I wanted to do something for the cats. Since cats are obligate carnivores, I wanted to avoid the carbs as much as possible. So I whipped up the following concoction. Like many a memorable Thanksgiving feast, the results were not quite pinterest worthy. Nonetheless, I felt compelled to share my efforts here.
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 packet of gelatine
- 2 jars of turkey baby food
- 1 tsp catnip
Bring one cup of water to a boil. Stir in 1 packet of gelatin. Let simmer for 3 minutes. Add 2 jars of baby food and 1 tsp of catnip. Pour into a mini muffin tray. Refrigerate for 40 minutes. Voila – you have rubbery turkey and catnip cat treats.
Frisko wasn’t too sure about them, but the kittens loved them!