Thanksgiving is only a short time away! You’re probably excited to relax with food, fun, and family. Just make sure your four-legged friends stay safe this holiday. Here, a South Miami, FL veterinarian tells you what to be on the lookout for.

Human Food Hazards

All sorts of human foods aren’t good for pets, and you likely have a lot of them in your kitchen during the holiday season. The list includes onions, garlic, chives, leeks, scallions, shallots, grapes and raisins, avocado, salt, chocolate, candy, gum, certain nuts, fatty foods, and caffeinated foods and beverages. It’s important that you don’t leave anything harmful within reach of your pet—store dangerous foods inside cabinets or the refrigerator.

Beware of Bones

It’s tempting to slip your pet a turkey or ham bone this holiday as a special indulgence, but it’s safest to reconsider. Bones of all types, whether they’re cooked or raw, can break apart when chewed. This may create chunks that present a choking hazard, or a bone could splinter into sharp shards that can lacerate a pet’s mouth or stomach lining. Avoid the risk entirely; offer your pet a chew toy or rawhide treat to munch on rather than a bone.

Alcohol Awareness

If your holiday celebration will include alcoholic beverages, you should pay special attention. Alcohol can affect pets very severely—in fact, alcohol does the same thing to pets that it does to us! Pets, though, can suffer serious health symptoms after ingesting only small amounts of alcohol. Keep a close eye on all liquor drinks, beer, wine, and champagne to make sure your pet doesn’t try to take a sip.

Animal Anxiety

One of Thanksgiving’s biggest potential hazards for your pet is one you may not have considered: anxiety. If family and friends are coming to your home this holiday, your pet may become overwhelmed at the hustle and bustle of guests or the constant ringing of the doorbell. It may be helpful to set up a “safe zone” just for your pet in a quiet back room. Include a soft bed, a few plush blankets, and a selection of Fido or Fluffy’s favorite toys. Lead your pet to this area if you see them becoming agitated as guests arrive.

From all of us here at your South Miami, FL veterinary hospital: Happy Thanksgiving! Contact us for all of your pet’s most important healthcare and wellness needs.