Holiday Safety Reminders for Your Pets

by Loree Walden, Marketing Manager, Yavapai Humane Society

October and November are when food and decorations become abundant around our homes — some not so safe for our pets.

Halloween might not be “normal” this year, but there are sure to be decorations and treats. Make sure your pets stay away from all forms of chocolate, chocolate covered raisins (which are a combination of two potentially deadly ingredients together), candy corn and wrapped candy so plastic and foil wrappers don’t end up causing an intestinal obstruction.

A curious or bored pet will happily scarf down fake spider webs, fake bugs, dried corn decorations, pine cones and other holiday decor. These items can obstruct your pet’s digestive tract, stomach and intestines. Also, remember to never leave your pet alone with a lit candle.

At Thanksgiving, turkey and turkey skin, sometimes even a small amount, can cause the life-threatening condition pancreatitis. Fatty foods are hard for animals to digest; and many foods are poisonous to pets, including onions, garlic, raisins and grapes.

A small piece of turkey (make sure it’s boneless and cooked all the way through) or a lick of mashed potatoes won’t hurt your pet, but anything more could be harmful. For a treat, give pets a made-for-pets chew bone or make a special dinner by taking their regular food and adding a few tidbits of turkey, vegetables (either sweet potato or green beans) and a few dribbles of gravy.

When baking, don’t allow your pets access to raw yeast bread dough. When ingested, the yeast continues to convert the sugars in the dough to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol. This can result in bloated, drunken pets, which could become a life threatening emergency. Desserts are tricky, and any batter, especially if it includes raw eggs, can be dangerous as can the artificial sweetener xylitol, commonly used in gum and sugar-free baked goods.

Lastly, please make sure your pet’s microchip information is up to date. 

By taking a few precautions, the holidays can be safe and fun for everyone. Happy Halloween and Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at Yavapai Humane Society!