It’s hard to believe we’re getting so close to the end of the year, but it’s time to start preparing for the holidays! With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s always nice to have a game plan in mind when it comes to your pets—and I don’t mean football! Thanksgiving is often brought to us with a big feast and lots of family and friends, but we have to make sure our furry friends are also safe and healthy during this time.

We’re sure you’d love to have your little companions partake in the festivities, and there are plenty of foods that can be enjoyed by your pets, but all good things must be taken in moderation. Unfortunately, too much human food can cause serious illness in pets, such as pancreatitis and bloat, both of which can be life threatening. Believe it or not, turkey bones are a huge treat to avoid giving your pets during the Thanksgiving season, as they can break apart and splinter, causing blockages and internal damage. Of course, avoid giving your pets any sweets from the dessert table, especially the sugar-free goodies, as most sugar substitutes contain a very harmful chemical called Xylitol, which can also be life threatening. Some treats that are fairly safe to give your fur babies include unseasoned turkey without the skin, plain mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie!). Be sure whatever you give your pets does not have any heavy seasoning on it, especially if it contains onion or garlic. Portion control is a must. You should not let your pets overindulge, but a nibble here and there won’t hurt, so long as there are no allergies to what’s given. There are many helpful websites to inform you of foods that your pets can and can’t have. In case of consumption of a harmful ingredient, be sure to contact the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline as soon as possible: 1-888-426-4435.

Our clinic will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and will reopen at 8 a.m. on Friday, November 29. If you feel your pet needs any immediate care during this time, please contact Lakeshore Veterinary Specialists, a 24-hour emergency clinic located in Oak Creek at 2400 W. Ryan Road: 414-761-6333.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving, everyone!