Best Friends Animal Society Offers Tips to Keep Pets Safe This Thanksgiving

Two black and white kittens sitting next to a sign that says, 'Grateful Thankful'
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Assets: Photos / Dog treat video, Cat treat video 

While it’s been a rough couple of years, as we approach Thanksgiving and the holiday season, there is so much to be grateful for, like the love of friends and family, including the dogs and cats that have been by our side as we’ve navigated through tumultuous times. 

To make sure this is a happy, healthy holiday Thanksgiving for all family members Best Friends Animal Society has a list of safety precautions for your pets:  

  • Say No to Table Scraps: Too much rich, fatty food, or simply new, unfamiliar foods can upset a pet’s stomach—and even cause pancreatitis, which can be life-threatening. Pet owners and their guests should go easy on the table scraps no matter how your pooch is a master of puppy eyes.  

  • No Bones About it: Poultry bones can break up or splinter in a pet’s stomach and be deadly, so dogs and cats should never be allowed to gnaw on them. Instead, bones should be discarded in a closed trash can immediately. Additionally, food-flavored items like plastic wrap, string, mesh or even a pop-up timer can smell tempting to curious pets and can cause injury to their stomachs if stolen and ingested, so make sure to toss them into the trash as soon as possible.  

  • Cats and Dogs Deserve Safe Treats, Too: Chocolate desserts often wash down a delicious  dinner for us humans, but pet parents should remember chocolate is toxic for dogs and should be kept out of reach. Other common food items that can be poisonous to dogs include onions, raisins, and grapes, which may be included in Thanksgiving staples such as stuffing, green bean casserole and more. To make your pet’s holiday meal special, there are many great recipes online for homemade dog and cat treats that are fun to make and healthy for your pet.

  • If Guests Don’t Follow the Rules – Put ‘Em in the Doghouse: It’s a good idea to review your household pet safety rules with any guests, since well-meaning holiday visitors might not know the potential harm caused by slipping treats under the table. Instead, offer them the chance to hand out tasty pet treats or a fun toy. 

“During this season of gratitude, it’s also important to remember others that aren’t as fortunate, including homeless dogs and cats,” said Julie Castle, CEO at Best Friends Animal Society. “So many shelters are currently at or over capacity, so if you can foster or adopt a pet, the time to do so is now. Not only will you be saving a life, but you’ll also help America’s shelters to become no-kill by 2025.” 


About Best Friends Animal Society

Best Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to 380,000. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of more than 4,400 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All®. For more information, visit