Keep Thanksgiving Toxin Free

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Thanksgiving is a fun holiday for humans, but for pets, it can get dangerous.

Between toxic foods and lots of new people to beg from, it’s all too easy for your dog or cat to eat something they shouldn’t and end up in the hospital. Stay safe this year with these five strategies to keep Thanksgiving toxin-free. 

1. Keep Food up High 

Several common Thanksgiving foods can be dangerous for dogs and cats to consume: 

To prevent your pet from eating something it shouldn’t, keep all food up high and out of reach — in the center of the dining room table, or shoved to the very back of the counter where even a counter-surfing dog can’t reach. 

2. Keep your Pets Busy

Entertaining your dog or playing with the cat is probably the last thing on your mind if you’re hosting Thanksgiving.

If you aren’t able to keep an eye on your pets, however, you don’t need to let them roam freely around the house and the kitchen. Consider crating your dog while you cook or sending him outside in the backyard to play with other family members. You could also buy your dog or cat a new toy and save it until you’re ready to start cooking. That way, your pets won’t get bored and decide to swipe something from the kitchen. 

3. Educate your Guests 

Don’t be afraid to (politely) ask any guests to not feed the animals. It can be hard to resist a mournful set of puppy-dog eyes, but since so many Thanksgiving foods are toxic to dogs, it’s best not to feed your pet scraps at all. Convey that same message to your visitors so they won’t be tempted to drop some turkey under the table. 

4. Take out the Trash 

Don’t leave trash bags where your pets can get to what’s inside. Besides the risk of eating poisonous leftovers, your pet might be in danger of intestinal blockage from plastic wrap or skewers. Dispose of the turkey carcass immediately, tying the trash bag tightly shut and then placing it either behind a closed door or outside. 

5. Act Fast 

If you suspect that your pet has eaten something dangerous, don’t wait until the holiday is over to take care of things — call a clinic immediately. You can contact your local vet’s office if they have an emergency clinic, or get in touch with the  Animal Poison Control Center at (855-764-7661) immediately. Let them know what your pet has eaten, how much and when.  

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.