Thanksgiving Precautions For Your Pets

Thanksgiving is a holiday for feasts, family and friends. Put the family pet into the middle of the mix and you may be asking for trouble. The following tips should help keep this holiday safe for your four-legged guests.

Thanksgiving feasts are meant for people and not pets:

  • Discourage well-meaning guests from spoiling pets with extra treats and scraps from the dinner table. Overindulgence with fatty, rich or spicy foods can cause stomach upset in the form of vomiting and diarrhea and can potentially lead to an inflammatory condition of the pancreas, known as pancreatitis, which can be life threatening if not treated promptly.
  • If you do decide to feed your pet a little nibble of turkey, make sure it is boneless and well cooked. Raw or undercooked turkey may contain salmonella bacteria which can cause severe stomach upset.
  • Most people understand that chocolate is poisonous to pets, and that the darker it is the more deadly it is, but an artificial sweetener called Xylitol has also been shown to be just as deadly to dogs. Xylitol is a common sweetener used in baked goods so, to be safe, avoid sharing your dessert with your pets.
  • Raw bread dough is dangerous for pets too and when it is ingested the pet’s body heat may actually cause it to rise in their stomach. As it expands the pet may experience vomiting, abdominal pain and bloating, which could become a life-threatening emergency requiring surgery.
  • Other common holiday foods that are poisonous to pets include the onions, garlic, raisins and grapes.
  • Dispose of turkey carcasses and any bones left on plates in a covered, tightly secured container along with anything used to wrap or tie the meat. These are also potential hazards and can be very tempting for your pets. A pet that “discovers” the carcass can quickly eat so much that they develop pancreatitis. Poultry or other soft bones can easily splinter when eaten and can cause damage to your pet’s mouth and esophagus or could get stuck in the stomach and intestines, requiring surgical removal.

If you want to treat your pet for Thanksgiving, buy a treat that is made just for them. You can purchase something from your veterinarian or a local pet food store. Your pet will enjoy the treat just as much, and chances are you won’t spend the holiday at the emergency clinic

Decorations can also be dangerous to pets so as you dress your Thanksgiving table with a centerpiece and flowers, remember to keep them up and away from your pets. Some decorations look good enough to eat, and pets may decide to have a taste. Depending on the flower or decoration, this can result in stomach upset or worse.

  • Lilies, in particular, are deadly to cats.
  • Pine cones and needles when consumed can cause an intestinal blockage or even perforate the animal’s intestine.
  • String like items when consumed can damage your pet’s intestines and could prove fatal if not surgically removed.

If you believe your pet has been poisoned or has gotten into something it shouldn’t have, please call us at Companion Animal Hospital at 902-434-3111. After hours, please contact the Metro Animal Emergency Clinic at 902-468-0674.

For some pets, houseguests can be scary:

  • Some pets are shy or excitable around new people, and Thanksgiving often means new people will be visiting. If you know your dog or cat can be overwhelmed when people come over, put them in another room or a crate so they’re out of the frenzy and feel safe. You might even want to consider boarding them to remove them completely from this upsetting situation. If your pet is particularly upset by houseguests, talk to your veterinarian about possible solutions to this common problem.
  • If your pets are comfortable around guests, make sure you watch them closely when your houseguests are entering or leaving to make sure your four-legged family member doesn’t make a break for it out the door and become lost.


Let’s get Active!

I am sure you all know that it's important to make sure our furry friends stay active. However, once winter time hits well that is simply more difficult with the snow and storms that come around. So then how do we keep our friends active in winter as we would in spring/summer? Why is physical activity & mental stimulation so important for animals? Well simply put, as humans do, if they are stuck inside, they will get bored which then can make them become destructive and have other negative behaviors. Cats Cats may not always be outside walking like dogs, but you may still notice with the change in weather maybe they are slowing down and not exercising like they should? Here are some helpful ways to encourage them to exercise. Set up a game of hide and seek and hide toys or treats for them to find. Bring in something new from outside like a stick to mentally stimulate them and work out their brain. The new smells and textures can be very enriching for them. Winter is the perfect time for box forts for our kitty friends. If you have spare time made them a kitty castle or kitty boat whatever your imagination can think of! And of course, everyone likes a little stimulation from Tv. Put on something on the tv or a tablet and let them watch it but be careful they do not knock over your TV. Dogs Our dog friends love to be outside! This is great when the weather is cooperating but on those days that it just makes no sense to go outside or is unsafe to so you can try these helpful exercising tips. Let them walk/run on a treadmill. Now as great as this is for exercise you also need to be careful. Desensitize them to the treadmill first, and start slowly. It can be dangerous if not done properly. If your furry friend likes car rides, go on a trip together even just a short one. Let them enjoy the different sights and smells. Winter is perfect time to learn new tricks! This is the time to teach them that special trick you have wanted to for a while. Set up an obstacle course in your house for them to try and get through. Written by: Ashley G, VT    

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Last updated: June 9, 2022.

Dear Clients,

Masks are now optional for both staff and clients at our hospital. Please respect everyone's comfort level. Here is what you can expect:

For appointments:
  • There are no longer any capacity limits on our exam rooms or reception area
  • Masks are optional for both team members and clients.
  • For food / medication / retail:
  • It is best to call your order in ahead of time so the team can get it ready for you. Please allow 24 - 48 hours for medication refills
  • We are continuing to see all cases by appointment only including pets in need of: vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, parasite prevention, and more.


    Monday to Friday: 7:30 am – 7:30 pm
    Saturday: 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
    Sunday: CLOSED

    Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

    - Your dedicated team at Companion Animal Hospital