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Much thought and preparation goes into creating a perfect Thanksgiving feast for our families. As you prep and savor your Thanksgiving dinner, consider your furry family member as well. During the holiday season when food and holiday décor is plentiful, it’s important to be conscious of the potential health risks that could arise if proper precautions are ignored.

From toxic foods to little-known hidden dangers, listed below are some do’s and don’ts to guarantee your beloved pet safely enjoys all the Thanksgiving festivities with the rest of the family.

Do: Discard Hazardous Items and Foods Appropriately

Our clever pets can easily retrieve objects from trash bags, especially when we’re preoccupied with Thanksgiving prep and social priorities. Items such as roasting bags, plastic wraps, strings or skewers are particularly dangerous to animals. If swallowed, an intestinal blockage could occur and cause some serious health issues and hefty medical bills. Some symptoms of an intestinal blockage include vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea and burping. If your pet swallows a hazardous item, it is critical to take your pooch or feline to the vet for an examination.

Do: Double-Check your Floors

As you clean up from cooking, be sure to double-check the floors! It’s probable you’ve dropped a couple things here and there while cooking, and foods like onions, grapes, and chocolate are toxic to our pets. A little crumb here and there might not cause much harm, but with a houseful of guests, the risks to your pet can be heightened.

Do: Feed your Pup or Kitty a Pet-Friendly Feast

Is it possible to cook a delicious feast for our family and not feel guilty about excluding our pets? The good news — yes, you can include them without the guilt! Here is a list of foods you can feel confident feeding your beloved pal, embracing them in the celebration.

  • Melons & Berries
  • Eggs
  • Peanut butter
  • Cheese
  • Green beans & Carrots
  • Chicken & Turkey (plain, no seasoning or spices)
  • Pumpkin (no sugar added, pure pumpkin puree only)

Do: Keep Hidden Toxins out of Reach

Food items aren’t the only toxins our pets may come across this Thanksgiving weekend. For those eager for the holiday season, the tree may already be up, generating more risks. These items can produce digestive issues and choking hazards. Confirm the following items are well out of reach.

  • Aluminum foil
  • Decorations — lit candles, tinsel, and wired décor
  • Liquid Potpourri
  • Plants — lilies, holly, and mistletoe

Don’t: Feed your Pet Scraps

Avoid feeding your pet scraps, especially bones. Not only could the bones cause your furry family member to choke, but any dietary changes could induce gastric issues or pancreatitis, leading to an unforeseen visit to the animal hospital.

Don’t: Feed your Pet Toxic Foods

As you prep a Thanksgiving plate (or bowl) for your precious pet, ensure the following foods don’t make way into your dog or cat’s tummy.

  • Onions
  • Grapes & Raisins
  • Garlic
  • Bones
  • Chocolate
  • Anything with added sugar
  • Candy or gum
  • Alcohol

Consider following these simple Thanksgiving do’s and don’ts to help keep your pet safe and so that your entire family can enjoy a safe and special holiday. 

Consider Investing in Pet Insurance 

Looking for more ways to keep your pets happy and healthy? Consider investing in a pet insurance policy with MetLife Pet Insurance.1  Our dog insurance and cat insurance policies can provide the coverage and care your furry family members deserve.  Get your free quote today. 

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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. 

1Pet 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.