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Angell Animal Medical Center Offers Advice for Keeping Pets Safe this Thanksgiving

Veterinarians Urge Caution Around Typical Holiday Foods and Ingredients

 BOSTON, Nov. 21, 2022 – Thanksgiving is the most common day for home fires in Massachusetts, but there are also pet-specific dangers that owners need to prepare for. That’s the message from Angell Animal Medical Center as the busy Holiday season begins.

“The most obvious pet dangers are around foods and substances that our pets may try to eat,” explained Dr. Kiko Bracker, director of emergency care at MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center. “But there are other things that can injure pets around Thanksgiving as well.”

Fun Foods for Humans, Potentially Deadly for Pets

“Many of us like to treat ourselves with chocolate as we prepare and celebrate Thanksgiving, but it can be toxic for pets,” Bracker explained. “It’s rarely fatal, but it could cause myriad issues, including diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, increased heart rate, agitation, and cardiac arrhythmias.”

“Your pets may experience the same things that you do or worse in terms of eating spoiled or moldy food,” Bracker added. “They may get food poisoning, but it could also cause seizures. So, it’s really important to make sure your pets don’t get ahold of anything that could be rotten.”

Dr. Bracker says these foods must also be kept away from pets:

  • Garlic, Onions, and Chives: Large amounts of these foods can significantly damage red blood cells, causing anemia and possible kidney failure.
  • Meat Bones: Bones may seem like a treat, but they can splinter and cause damage or blockage in your pet’s gastrointestinal tract.
  • Yeast Dough: When pets eat raw yeast dough, it can rise in their stomachs and often requires surgery to treat.

Fires, Anxiety, and Anti-Freeze

Food-related dangers are the most obvious when it comes to pets, but there are also other things pet owners should beware of, advises Bracker.

“This is also the time of year that people start using chemicals to melt ice on driveways and sidewalks,” Bracker said. “Those are not only potentially lethal if eaten by a pet, but they can also burn dogs’ paws if they walk on it.”

Bracker recommends finding pet-safe ice melt or using well-fitting boots for dogs in areas they may be hurt by these chemicals.

“The recipe to a safe and happy Thanksgiving is to be mindful of your pets at all times,” Bracker added. “Don’t leave lit candles on tables pets may knock over, be careful not to step on them if they’re underfoot in the kitchen, and, if your pet has anxiety, make sure they have a quiet place to retreat to if the Thanksgiving crowd is too much for them.”

Anyone interested in more Thanksgiving safety tips from Angell Animal Medical Center is encouraged to visit this website.