As we all know, Thanksgiving is a holiday where we celebrate family. To many, their pet is the only family they have. Whether it’s a senior citizen whose family is thousands of miles away and cannot come see them, or a college student who doesn’t have enough cash to get a ticket on the bus, or a person who just lost a spouse and they are empty nesters, many individuals are home alone during the holiday season…unless they have a pet of course.
Pet adoption and ownership skyrockets amongst the single individual for many reasons. Having a pet curbs loneliness, it gives us someone to talk to and share stories, secrets and feelings. Sometimes, it gives people a purpose to get up in the morning. During the holiday season, which can be extra stressful with feelings of being alone, having a pet can give us feelings of worth and reason to continue to celebrate. I encourage all who are alone to consider opening their hearts and homes to a pet. Dogs, cats, rabbits and other critters are also alone at animal shelters throughout the area and like you, would want nothing more than to share the holidays with someone, rather than being at a shelter. Consider adopting a pet today. If you know someone who could benefit from a pet adoption, talk it over with them, and if all are in agreement, consider purchasing a Pasadena Humane Society gift certificate so you can help them by giving them the gift of a pet and the supplies that go along with it. If you are unsure about adopting a pet, consider attending the Pet Parent 101 program, a free program for individuals who are thinking of adopting a pet or have just adopted and have questions.
Whether you are a new pet owner or already have a pet in your family, it’s important to do all you can to keep your pet safe during Thanksgiving. Consider the following:
- Thanksgiving can mean a lot of activity in the home, which can be overwhelming for some pets. Make sure to provide a quiet room where your pets can relax and be away from crowds.
- Avoid feeding your pets foods that can be potentially harmful or toxic to them. Foods like ham, onion, garlic, grapes, raisins, and chocolate can all cause serious health problems for your dog or cat. Instead of giving your pet Thanksgiving leftovers, try giving them their own specialty pet treats.
- Make sure to take out the garbage right after your thanksgiving feast is over. You don’t want a curious pet snooping in the trash and eating something they shouldn’t. Make sure your outside garbage is secured to not attract unwanted wildlife.
- Remind house guests not to feed any table scraps to your pets, especially turkey bones. Bones can splinter and lacerate or obstruct your dog or cat’s digestive tract.
- Keep your pets on a routine throughout the holiday season; regular walks and meals help reduce stress on your pets.
- Be sure to supervise any interactions between pets and children to ensure that your pet does not get overstimulated and bite a child.
- Make sure your pets are microchipped and wearing current ID tags just in case they make a dash out the door during the Thanksgiving hustle and bustle. If your pet gets lost, visit your local animal shelter every three days and visit all the shelters’ websites to see pictures of animals that were rescued and in their care.
- If you find a stray animal, contact your local animal control agency for help.
- Be careful with decorative flowers and plants as some can be toxic to pets. A few common festive plants and flowers to avoid include hydrangeas, Baby’s Breath, amaryllis, Sweet William, Poinsettia, and Yew. The best way to guarantee your pets’ safety is to simply keep all plants and table decorations out of their reach.
- If you find that your pet is in medical distress take him to a veterinarian immediately. Have poison control’s phone number readily available just in case you need to call.
On behalf of all of the animals in the community, thank you for doing your part and keeping animals safe. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.