HOLIDAY PET SAFETY: Tips to avoid spending Thanksgiving in a veterinary ER

Pet owners are being urged to be mindful during the Thanksgiving holiday that many of the items prepared for humans to feast on may pose serious problems to their furry friends.

During the holidays, there is a significant uptick in pet-related emergencies, many of which are avoidable, according to BluePearl Veterinary Partners.

Some of these problems include gastrointestinal irritations with vomiting and diarrhea, pancreatitis from eating foods high in fat, and an increase in animals being struck by vehicles.

People are advised to practice these holiday safety precautions and tips:

Meat bones

Turkey bones, chicken bones and ham bones can splinter and cause the intestinal track to become perforated. Foods high in fat content can cause pancreatitis in companion animals.

Make sure to seal garbage bags and place them in a tightly covered container to prevent pets from getting into something that could injure them.

Spices and foods

Many spices and foods that are safe for humans are not safe for animals. Onions, garlic, chocolate, raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, the sugar substitute xylitol, and raw or undercooked food can create major problems for pets.

Make sure friends and family aren’t sneaking treats to pets. It is best to keep pets on their normal diets.

Keep inside

Doors that are left unintentionally open can result in a pet being hit by a car. As guests and deliveries come and go, make sure pets remain safely inside.


Poinsettias are toxic to pets. Make sure these plants are out of reach from pets.


Traveling can be stressful for pets. If traveling with pets, make sure they are comfortable. Get them acclimated when they are young by taking them on trips. If needed, herbal remedies or medications can be provided by a veterinarian to assist with calming a pet.

“If your pet is exhibiting signs that they are not feeling well, please get them to your veterinarian or closest emergency veterinarian as soon as possible,” said Dr. Jennifer Welser, chief medical officer of BluePearl Veterinary Partners.

BluePearl locations in 14 states

BluePearl Veterinary Partners’ hospitals offer specialty and emergency veterinary medicine. BluePearl is owned by employee veterinarians and other veterinary professionals.

It operates locations in 14 states in the Northeast, South, Midwest and Pacific Northwest. BluePearl is headquartered in Tampa, Fla.