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Thanksgiving and your pets

The Fall season is finally here.... I think.
It was the first day since last Fall that I woke up to let the dogs outside this morning and much to my surprise, it felt chilly. The air had a different smell, a different feeling. It smelled of colder, crisper days ahead and of a promise that winter was following closely behind.
What a great time of the year, it's so exciting. The sounds of holiday music in our homes, at work and in our cars, the smells of turkey, ham, spices and fire places. 

But because Thanksgiving came up fast this year, most likely your family is scurrying around trying to get your preparations in check just like me. 

The Az Pet Professionals and I wanted to take a minute to remind you to just breathe, take it all in, take it one day at a time, one hour at a time if needed, and remember to enjoy everything about this time of year and remember to keep your pet family in mind in the midst of all the excitement.

Holiday Treats, alcoholic beverages, rich, fatty foods and bones can be harmful or toxic to your pets. You get that. We’re fairly certain you’ve heard this before.
So we wanted to provide you with a quick refresher on some things you can do to keep your pets safe this holiday.

· Keep your pet on their regular diet and caution guests against giving your pet any “special treats”. I like to put notes around my house that actually spell out in large writing, NO HUMAN FOOD FOR OUR PETS PLEASE. It works..

· Watch hot containers and pots on the stove.

· Hot turkey, ham drippings and other hot side dishes can cause severe scalding and burns, so be careful handling both.

· Withhold from feeding those same drippings, even once they have cooled. Drippings can easily cause upset to your pet’s digestive system because of their high fat content.

Preventative safety measures are the best strategies so store leftovers out of the reach of all pets and in tightly closed containers.

Keep your pet safe from E-Coli. Make sure garbage cans are closed and secured. Turkey which has been out too long can cause Salmonella so be careful that your pet is not in your kitchen eating off the turkey plate while you are entertaining. This goes for cats too; it is very easy for them to jump up on counters and tables.

Cooked bones can be dangerous to your pets. 
Please do not feed your pets bones, especially cooked poultry bones. Poultry bones splinter easily and can cause tearing in the intestines if swallowed and can get caught in the esophagus causing them to choke. Thousands of pets are treated for consumption of splintered bones causing pain and even death. Emergency Exploratory surgery is costly and can range from $2,000-$5,000.
What can you do to include your pet this holiday?
First, consider providing appropriate chew toys or food occupation devices such as “Kong Stuffing” to keep your pet occupied. 
There are many cat and dog puzzle toys available to keep pets alert, active and entertained.
We have some wonderful alternatives for you as far as fun things for your dogs and cats to eat that are made right here in the USA. 

Furbabies Delectable Delights, our long time founding member, makes all of their homemade dog treats right here in the East Valley and they have holiday pup cakes and more that can be made special for your dogs. 
Furbabies recently partnered with another one of our amazing members, our pawTree representative, Stephanie. Together they will be offering you a place to purchase high quality, affordable dog and cat food and treats. 
This is so exciting because pawTree offers the highest quality cat and dog food and also has cat treats. There are so many new and exciting products that were released recently that make dinner more fun for your pet, just see for yourself here.  
The investment and preparation can insure that your pet/s will have a happy, healthy and safe Holiday rather than a tragic one.

Dog doesn't like company?
That's going to be a problem if you are hosting Thanksgiving. I know it's short notice, but we have an amazing dog trainer that you can call to consult with. If you can't schedule with her before Thanksgiving, there's always time before Christmas. A phone consult could be just what you need to receive some tips on what you can do on Thanksgiving, until your scheduled appointment. 

See Kathrine's information here.

What about an unexpected emergency during the holiday?
Always make sure you have the nearest Emergency Clinic telephone number close by. 
Time is of essence in an emergency and you can't afford to waste precious minutes trying to figure out where you’re going. You can Google the shortest route to the nearest emergency clinic so you know exactly where you’d be driving to and exactly how long it will take to get there. Do this now, not when it's too late. This is a huge part of you preparing. 
If you do need an emergency clinic, remember to call them when you are en-route. Give them an estimated time of arrival and a summary of why you are coming so they can prepare and be ready.

Each year thousands of pets are seriously injured or become deathly ill around the holidays. 
People plan trips, holiday shopping, holiday parties, cooking and baking. It can be easy to lose track of what your pet is doing. Pets are as curious and anxious as we are during this time of year. There can be assorted hazards waiting for their curiosity if we aren't careful. 
Stay alert as to what they are doing at all times. Although it is a busy time for you; please do not forgo your pet’s needs.
If you are planning going out of town make sure to hire a trusted pet sitter or boarding facility. 
We have plenty of them for you to see and we know they are the best.
Vaccines prevent transmissible disease. So if your pets are behind on vaccines, make an effort to put that task at the top of your list so it doesn't become lost in the hustle. We have incredible veterinarians in our group that you can schedule an appointment with. 
Our veterinarians can help with much more too. Microchips can recover a lost pet and spaying and neutering can save countless, unwanted litters of puppies and kittens. 

We want to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving and hope your pets will have a great holiday as well!
Thanks pet friends and be safe all throughout the Holiday Season!
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