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Keeping Your Pet Safe This Thanksgiving

November 15, 2017

Thanksgiving will be here before you know it. Are you hosting the holiday festivities this year? It’s important to keep your pet safe! Here, your Roanoke, VA veterinary professional tells you how to keep your pet free from harm.

Toxic Foods

Plenty of holiday foods around your dinner table can prove harmful to pets, including onions, garlic, chives, scallions, shallots, grapes and raisins, chocolate, candy, certain types of nuts, caffeinated foods and beverages, fatty table scraps, and more. Don’t let your holiday celebration turn into a nightmare—keep pets out of the kitchen while preparing the meal, and don’t let guests feed your pet any scraps under the table. To keep your pet healthy and properly nourished, especially during the feast-heavy holiday season, consider our ‘Nutrition & Weight Management’ services.

For a detailed list of foods that pose a risk to your pets during holiday celebrations, be sure to read our ‘Harmful Holiday Foods for Pets’ article.


It’s tempting to slip your pet a turkey, ham, or chicken bone this holiday as a fun treat. Think twice before doing so, though—bones, whether they’ve been cooked through or not, can chunk and splinter apart when chewed. This creates a choking hazard, and sharp shards could cut your pet’s mouth or stomach lining when swallowed. To be safe, give your pet a chew toy instead of a real bone.


Does your Thanksgiving Day celebration include alcoholic beverages? Use caution, especially if your pet is the curious type. Alcohol of all sorts—liquor drinks, beer, wine, champagne, even certain foods made with alcohol—can harm a pet who ingests too much. That’s because alcohol affects pets just like it affects us, except that only small amounts can poison a pet quite seriously. Keep a close eye on unattended drinks to make sure that your animal friend can’t sneak a sip.

Garbage Bags

Your holiday garbage bag is full of things that a pet shouldn’t encounter, including toxic foods, spent coffee grounds, bones, fat-covered aluminum foil, and more. A bag left out on the floor could easily be ripped open by a determined pet, allowing them access to the dangerous contents inside. It’s safest to put your garbage bag inside a plastic container or in another room where a pet can’t go.

Pet Anxiety

Does your pet get overwhelmed around large groups? When guests converge on your home this holiday, it may prove very stressful for your four-legged friend. If necessary, set up a pet bed with a few soft blankets in a back room, and lead your pet to the area when guests start arriving.

For more Thanksgiving safety tips, call your Roanoke, VA animal hospital for help.

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