Thanksgiving Tips!

Thanksgiving is one of our favourite times of the year, but thanks to all the friends, family, and food it’s very common for us to see pets in for various medical conditions after the holiday. Some are inconvenient and uncomfortable, and others can be downright dangerous. Here are a few suggestions to help avoid a visit to the vet!


We mean it. Don’t be fooled by those puppy/kitten eyes. The most common problem we see after the holiday weekend is vomiting/diarrhea from binging on fatty and high calorie foods. It’s easy to think you are only giving a small treat to your pet, but a small piece of turkey, pie, or cheese for a smaller animal is like a feast for a person. If this ‘small’ treat is given repeatedly all evening, then you can imagine there will be digestion problems! It’s also important to remind friends and family to not give in as well, as your pet may be able to sway them too!

Pets that binge on table scraps over the holidays can also develop a serious condition called pancreatitis. This requires medical intervention and may even require your pet to be hospitalized.


You may have been the perfect owner with the perfect guests and your pet did not get any extras for the evening, however, after a long night, dirty dishes and bags of trash were left out to be dealt with the next day. Now’s your pet’s chance! All too often we see pets that torn through garbage bags and gorged on leftovers or have managed to get to dirty dishes left on the counter. This can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, pancreatitis, and sometimes an obstruction in the intestines. You pet may also get into bones, which can fracture teeth, and sometimes splinter inside the GI tract causing damage/perforation. It’s best to deal with the trash before you go to bed, and if your pet can get on the counter, it might be worthwhile to deal with the dishes too.


The following are common foods that can be toxic for your pet to eat. Take special care to ensure these foods are out of reach and that your guests don’t give them by mistake.

  • Grapes/Raisins
  • Onions, Garlic, Leeks, Chives
  • Xylitol (an artificial sweetener found in some baked goods, candy, gum, and peanut butter)
  • High fat foods
  • Bones/turkey legs
  • Unbaked yeast dough
  • Alcohol/marijuana products

If you wish to treat your pet, use pet friendly options! Dogs may enjoy chewing on a rawhide (which will not damage teeth) or licking low fat yogurt out of a kong. Cats may enjoy a food-reward ball or a catnip toy to play with for the evening.

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