Tips for Keeping Pets Safe During Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and as a family caregiver that probably means you are thinking of all of the ways you can help your parent to enjoy this holiday. This means helping them stay safe and healthy while enjoying the festivities. As you are preparing for the holiday, it is important not to overlook some of the most valuable members of the family — pets. Furry friends are treasured in many families, and for your aging parent, they can be extremely beneficial. From lowering blood pressure and supporting heart health, to reducing depression and anxiety, pets can offer your parent a wide variety of  benefits. This makes them very important, and it is vital you keep their health and safety in mind as well. While including them in your holiday celebration can make this special time even more memorable, you should be aware of some of the potential dangers that exist during the holidays.

Elder Care in Rockford MI: Keeping Pets Safe During Thanksgiving

Elder Care in Rockford MI: Keeping Pets Safe During Thanksgiving

Use these tips to keep your senior’s pets safe during Thanksgiving:

  • Some foods are poisonous to pets, but people don’t realize it. Onions, raisins, and grapes are all very dangerous for pets, and should be kept far away from them.
  • Avoid giving pets table scraps, including turkey skin. Foods that are high in fat can lead to pancreatitis, a potentially life-threatening condition for these furry friends. Eating foods that aren’t in their usual diet, and eating more than they’re used to, can all lead to gastric distress.
  • Do not allow a pet to eat yeast dough. This can lead to severe stomach pain, gas, and bloating.
  • Don’t treat your pets to desserts. This is especially important if you didn’t make them yourself. Xylitol, a common sweetener, can be deadly to both cats and dogs even in very small amounts.
  • Keep trash well away from pets so they don’t try to dig in when you aren’t watching.
  • Many plants, especially decorative ones, can be very dangerous for animals. Avoid keeping live plants where animals can reach them, especially seasonal plants such as poinsettias.
  • If you are having many guests over, remember this can be stressful for animals. Consider putting them in a kennel during events, or keep them safely and comfortably tucked away somewhere in the home where they won’t come in contact with others.
  • Keep doors closed, and warn guests not to leave doors open so pets don’t dart out of the home.
  • If you are going to be decorating the Christmas tree following dinner as many families do, be cautious about decorations. Tinsel, shiny balls, and other trimmings can be very appealing to pets, especially cats, but cause life-threatening injuries if consumed.
  • Have the emergency number for a vet in your area available just in case something happens.


If you worry your senior’s challenges and limitations are too much for them to be able to enjoy the delights and benefits of owning a pet, starting senior care for them can help. A senior home care services provider can offer a wide range of completely personalized services specifically designed to help your aging parent live the life they want. This can include helping them to manage the tasks of caring for a pet. From reminding them about feedings and watering, to helping them with walks, to providing physical support as your senior plays and interacts with their pet, the services can help your loved one make the most of their relationship with their furry companions.

If you or someone you know needs help with elder care in Rockford, MI, contact Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services in our community. Call us at (616) 258-2300 for more information.



About Dan Gauthier

Dan Gauthier has a long and successful business pedigree. He spent his college years working in the restaurant business and worked in various executive management positions at Universal Forest Products, Inc. over a span of 17 years, and Therm Technology / Family Safety Products for 12 years.

When the recession hit in 2008 Dan was “downsized” from UFP and spent a few years consulting for local companies Amway and Cascade Engineering. During this period Dan’s in-laws were experiencing catastrophic health problems and it required Dan’s wife Marion to focus full time on caregiving for her mother. Marion enlisted help from a local home care agency and it did not go well. This experience led to the creation of Gauthier Family Home Care, a home care agency that is uniquely holistic and family centric. Dan now works full time running GFHC.