A Cornucopia of Thanksgiving tips to keep your pet healthy!

Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays at SportsVet and we would like to take a moment to give “Thanks” to all of our patients and clients. We are honored to serve you throughout the year and hope your family enjoys all the special moments unfolding this holiday season.

As we all prepare for the feast and busy holiday weekend ahead, we recommend taking a moment to assess the things that could stand in the way of your pet’s ongoing safety and happiness. You know your pet better than anyone, and considering all of his/her needs, and what causes him/her stress will contribute to the overall success of your holiday.

Bird is the Word
Pets can have a seemingly one-track mind, especially when there is food involved. A Thanksgiving feast is just as delightful to our pets as it is to us.  This unfortunately means that keeping your pet away from the bird and all the fixings can seem like an impossible battle.

To help keep your pet safe, I start by recommending keeping Scruffy out of the kitchen while you are cooking, and away from the table while you are dining. You may want to recruit your younger family members to keep Fluffy or Fido entertained while you are prepping and tasting, or perhaps secluding your pet in an out of the way room. In a pinch, a baby gate can be used to help keep your pet from entering the kitchen or dining areas (I doubt this will keep your feline friends out of the room though!)

Place Settings
If your pet is at home with you while you host Thanksgiving, think about what he or she may need to enjoy the day. Is your pet one of those who thrives on chaos, and loves to greet new guests? If not, this is yet another reason to set Fluffy up apart from the action and check on him or her throughout the day.

Be sure to share house rules with your guests and make sure they understand your pet’s habits and nature, as well as where the pets will be kept throughout the day.  As a matter of preparation, check your pet’s collar and ID tag in case they dart out the front door.  Having your pet micro-chipped strongly increases the chances of being re-united with you should he or she decide to make a break for it! Lastly make sure your guests know your expectations for “treats” throughout the day.  If you have just finally gotten Fido’s allergies under control, adding in a plethora of new treats may cause chaos in the days and even weeks to come!

Did Someone Say Food
Yes, your pet can enjoy your Thanksgiving feast, just not all of it (and in moderation!). A little white meat turkey (without the skin) will keep your pet licking his or her chops for some time as you dish up the following tasty, safe, un-buttered and UNSEASONED vegetables:

Sweet Potatoes
Green Beans
However, do not offer or make available any of the following:
Xylitol (Or other sugar substitutes)
Stuffing (sage, onions, and garlic, oh my!)
Raw dough
Macadamia nuts
Grapes or raisins
Cooked turkey bones or skin
Onions and garlic
Rich,greasy or fatty foods (hello, gravy!)

Don’t be afraid to make your wishes known when it comes to Thanksgiving pet safety. There are many foods that look completely harmless for a pet to consume, but could actually cause irreparable damage or even death. Act quickly if you see any of these symptoms, as time is often of the essence when it comes to treating a sick pet:

Lethargy or Depression
Visible Pain

Knowing the warning signs of illness is a great way to keep your pet safe. If you suspect your pet has been exposed to a toxic food, call your nearest emergency clinic right away!

Lastly, do not allow your pet to get into the garbage!  Once you’ve taken the trash (full of all bones and scraps) outside, secure the trash can lid with something heavy in order to deter curious pets who just want one more Thanksgiving bite!

Again, I would like to thank all of you for your support over the last few months as the newest doctor on staff for SportsVet.  I am personally thankful for the great staff I get to work with each and every day, as well as the amazing clients and patients I have already met and have yet to meet!  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


cat-turkey (1)



In case of emergency this Thanksgiving we at SportsVet recommend you keep the phone number for the Animal Emergency Clinic in Champaign close by.  For those who need it you can contact them at (217) 359-1977.

Author: SportsVet AMC

Welcome to SportsVet Animal Medical Center's veterinary blog! Every member of our team is dedicated to building, supporting, and maintaining positive and rewarding relationships between pets and their owners. Our veterinary focus is on enhancing life, optimizing function, and maximizing performance for every patient. We will periodically be posting about veterinary healthcare, helpful tips, important facts about your beloved pet, and every topic in between. Have a topic that you are particularly interested in, and want to know more? Contact us to request a blog post directly from our team!

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