Avoid These Thanksgiving Pet Hazards

Are you looking forward to the food, fun, and family time of the Thanksgiving holiday? Make sure you don’t ruin your special day with a pet emergency. Here, your Niwot, CO veterinarian tells you about five common hazards to keep your pet safe from:

Stress and Anxiety

Don’t discount the impact stress and anxiety may have on your pet this time of year. Many pets, especially those with shy dispositions, may easily become overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of loud guests in the home. To prevent this, set up a pet “safe zone” in the basement or in a back bedroom. Outfit it with a pet bed, some soft blankets, and a few favorite toys. Lead your pet there if you see them displaying symptoms of anxiety.

Dangerous Human Foods

Your holiday kitchen is chock-full of potentially hazardous foods for pets. Have your furry friend avoid onions, garlic, chives, grapes, raisins, salty items, fatty foods, caffeinated items, chocolate, and candy. Also beware of aluminum foil that wraps your turkey, which may be coated in a layer of fat that pets shouldn’t consume.


It’s not a good idea to slip your pet a turkey bone as a special Thanksgiving treat, whether it’s cooked or uncooked. Bones can easily splinter apart when chewed, creating chunks that could be choked on or sharp slivers that can cut a pet’s mouth or puncture the intestinal lining. Save yourself a trip to the veterinary emergency room—offer your pet a good old fashioned chew toy instead of bones.

Alcoholic Beverages

Will your holiday celebration include alcoholic beverages? Remember to keep a close eye on them so that your pet can’t imbibe. Alcohol is extremely dangerous for pets; it affects them the same exact way it affects us. However, since pets are much smaller and don’t have a tolerance, serious organ damage and other symptoms of alcohol poisoning can occur very quickly. Closely monitor all beer, liquor, wine, and champagne. Even foods cooked with alcohol, like certain baked desserts or glazed foods, can present a hazard.

The Garbage

Consider all the potential hazards in your holiday garbage bag. It may include dangerous foods, bones, coffee grounds, fatty aluminum foil, and much more. Be sure to place the bag in another room or inside of a hard plastic container for safety.

Contact your Niwot, CO animal hospital for even more helpful Thanksgiving pet safety tips.

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