Expert tips to help keep pets safe this Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is a time to pause, reflect, and show thanks to friends, family, and companions, which includes our beloved pets. While we enjoy quality time (and food) with friends and family this holiday, it is important to keep a few things in mindspecifically, the hidden pet dangers that lurk on our dining room tables and plates. 

Each year, BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital clinicians see a significant uptick in cases during the November and December months. The most common problems include an increase in animals struck by vehicles, gastrointestinal irritations with vomiting and diarrhea, and pancreatitis from eating fatty human foods. Lindsey E. Bullen, DVM, DACVN, Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist, BluePearl Pet Hospital in Cary, N.C., says that while some pets can handle certain human treats and foods, not all can.  

Although tempting, cats and dogs with food specific allergies or dietary hypersensitivities should always stay on their prescribed food and not get anything else,” explained Dr. Bullen.

“Additionally, pets with any chronic disease such as diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, or pancreatitis, should not receive any human foods without first discussing with your pet’s veterinarian. And this should be discussed on a case-by-case basis.” 

When it comes to a pet’s Thanksgiving Day menu, Dr. Bullen says there are a few things to consider like calories associated with human foods. According to Dr. Bullensmall volumes of foods can be deceptiveas mass does not always equate to calorie contentTake for instance, peanut butter and mashed potatoes. While one tablespoon of delicious nutty goodness contains approximately 95 caloriesone tablespoon of mashed potatoes contains approximately 17 calories—big difference. 

Expert tips to keep pets safe this Thanksgiving 

Tolerance to human foods depends purely on the individual pet. If you do decide to make your furry pal a plate, here are a few Thanksgiving foods that could be okay: 

A lot of the cases we see during the holidays are preventable,” said Dr. Bullen.

“By discussing safe pet foods with a veterinary nutritionist or primary care physician ahead of time, and taking some basic precautions, pet owners can ensure a safe and happy Thanksgiving for all.” 

Most BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospitals are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays. If your cat or dog begins to show signs of illness or distress this holiday season, immediately take them to a primary care veterinarian or an emergency pet hospital. Find a local BluePearl Pet Hospital