Thanksgiving Pet Safety
Food and Decorations
Thanksgiving is a special holiday, with decorations and an overabundance of food. Thanksgiving pet safety is of the upmost importance. While pets should be considered a part of the family, they should not eat the same as the 2-legged family members.
Human food can be very difficult for pets to digest. If it is fatty, their bodies cannot properly process it and that can lead to a life-threatening condition called pancreatitis. Even a small piece of turkey can have too much fat on it. Do not give him the turkey bones. They are soft and can break apart or splinter, causing an obstruction. Desserts often contain chocolate and/or xylitol, both of which are toxic. For a complete list of harmful foods visit the ASPCA/food safety .
When you are cleaning up after the feast, make sure the trash is out of the way. The smells in their will be too much for your furry family member to resist. Any spills should be cleaned up immediately.
Be very careful with decorative plants. A lot of holiday plants and flowers can be toxic to pets. This includes (but is not limited to) amaryllis, hydrangeas, baby’s breath and poinsettias. For a complete list visit the ASPCA/toxic plants .
Cats are very curious and will check out that candle with the open flame you have so beautifully displayed. Never leave a pet alone in a room with one. Pine cones, garland, and other small decorations can make for a fun toy (so they think) but can also cause a not so fun obstruction if it is ingested.
Traveling With a Pet
If you are taking your pet across state lines, make sure you have had a veterinarian first check him out completely and issue you a travel certificate. If you are flying, be sure to check with your airline to find out what their specific requirements are. If you are traveling internationally you must also find out the requirements in the country you are entering. Some are very strict and require treatments or vaccine way in advance, so make sure you start early. For more information on domestic travel you can visit USDA/pet travel.
All pets should be restrained while in the car. This means using a harness or carrier. Make sure to place them in the back, away from airbags. Not only is restraint safer for them, it also protects the driver from being distracted by a pet roaming freely in the car.
How Do I Know If My Cat Is Happy?
Cats are masters at hiding their feelings (unless they are mad). So client’s often ask us, “how do I know if my cat is happy”? We have answered that question for you!
Cat’s are notorious for hiding signs of medical issues. Regular exams allows your veterinarian to catch subtle symptoms that you will not notice at home. Physical exams as well as yearly blood work will catch a brewing issue early enough to treat it before it becomes a huge problem.
He Routinely Uses His Litterbox
If your cat starts using areas other than his litterbox as a potty, it’s usually a sign that something else is going on. It can be medical or behavioral, but it’s best to let your veterinarian figure that out. If it is behavioral, it can sometimes be broken down to a result of one or more of the following:
- A dirty box. Cat’s like it clean. Scoop it as often as twice a day and change all of the litter weekly.
- A box that is too small. They need to have room to move and get in and out of it easily.
- A convenient location. Is it in a stressful area? On top of a noisy washing machine might scare your cat. Heavy traffic areas might discourage him from going there.
- If you have multiple cats, you need multiple boxes. One for each plus one to spare is the general rule of thumb.
He is Grooming Regularly
If your cat is not grooming on a regular basis, there is a reason for it. Cats like to be clean. On the other hand, over grooming can also be a problem. Excessive licking, biting or hair loss can be a sign of a problem.
He Has Adequate Stimulation
Cats can experience stress if they are bored. Keep plenty for him to do/see. Environmental enrichment can include toys, windows to look out of, perches to survey from etc. He will also need plenty of food and water.
He’s purring, rubbing up against you, kneading, head-butting, giving you kisses; you get the point here. All of these are signs of a content cat. Any drastic change in his normal personality can be a warning sign.
For more information on cats, please visit The American Association of Feline Practitioners at www.catvets.com, or contact Gentle Touch Animal Hospital at http://www.gentletouchanimalhospital.com/veterinary-services/behavioral-consultation.html or email or call us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303.691.3720
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