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Treat Dos and Don’ts

The weather is cooling down, the baking is picking up, and the holiday season has officially begun with the celebration of Thanksgiving! While it’s always exciting to include your furry loved ones in the celebration, this is a potentially dangerous time for our pets. While consumable goods are always something to be wary of, dangers can also come from over-excitement, unfamiliar guests in the household, or even traveling to new destinations as we venture to spend time with our family and friends.

Food Do’s and Don’ts


  • Small portions of PET SAFE foods and turkey that are unseasoned with no skin or bones. ALSO BE CAREFUL – greasy or fattier parts of meats can cause severe illness. LEAN white meat can be given safely
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Apples (no core or seeds!)
  • Pure pumpkin – not to be confused with pumpkin pie filling
  • Carrots
  • Green beans (in water and not in salt or oils)


  • Ham
  • Turkey/ham skin or bones. Cooked bones can splinter and cause GI upset and inflammation or worse, punctures in the intestines that can be fatal
  • Stuffing or any casseroles
  • Any items containing grapes or raisins
  • Meals made with onion or garlic
  • Spices including (but not limited to): nutmeg, pumpkin spice, cinnamon

Looking for a tasty Thanksgiving-inspired dessert to make for your pet? Try this recipe below:


  • ⅔ cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • ¾ cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 5 tablespoons natural peanut butter (not containing xylitol)
  • ½ cup finely shredded carrot


Step One: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line up twenty-four muffin cups with paper liners; lightly coat liners with nonstick cooking spray.

Step Two: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. In another medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, 1/4 cup yogurt, egg, 2 tsp. honey, and 1 Tbsp. peanut butter. Stir the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture until nearly combined. Fold in shredded carrot.

Step Three: Scoop batter into prepared pan(s), filling muffin cups about 2/3 full. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on wire racks.

Step Four: In a bowl, beat together the remaining 1/2 cup yogurt, remaining 1/4 cup peanut butter, and remaining 1 tsp. honey until smooth. Pipe or spoon the frosting onto cooled cupcakes.

If you’re unsure if something may be toxic to your pet, please contact the Pet Poison Hotline at (855) 764-7661. If you know for certain your pet ingested something toxic, please reach out to us at (909) 822-8026 or a local emergency vet if we are not open.

Visitors and Traveling

Having visitors or visiting other family members/friends can be an exciting but potentially stressful event for your pets.


  • BE PROACTIVE! Set up a safe place for your four-legged friends if they become anxious around strangers.
  • Beware of situations that may be unfamiliar to them which may elicit fear or aggression (ie some pets have no exposure to children, loud noises, unpredictable movements, etc). Monitor them closely or remove them from those situations altogether.
  • If anxiety or fear is severe, talk to your veterinarian about sedatives to relax your pet over the holidays.
  • Ensure that your pet is current on vaccinations and flea/tick and heartworm prevention SPECIFIC TO THE DESTINATION. Remember that various parts of the country differ from others in regard to parasites and infectious diseases.
  • Get all medication refills AHEAD OF TIME. Remember that some hospitals will also be closed for the holiday.
  • Ensure that your final destination does not require documentation for your pet. Some places and airlines will require proof of vaccinations and/or health provided by your veterinarian.
  • When traveling by air, be aware of certain breed-specific guidelines. Some breeds are not allowed to travel by air in extreme temperatures.
  • Make sure your carrier is appropriate for your pet’s size and up to safety standards regardless if you’re traveling by car or plane.
  • If your pet is staying at a boarding facility, please ensure that he/she feels safe in this location. Plan to have your pet stay there beforehand. Ask the staff how your animal did.? Gauge if sedatives, special bedding, etc will be required to ensure your pet is comfortable while you are away.
  • If you are away from your pet for the holiday, BE REACHABLE for potential emergencies. Think about having another friend or family member be a point of contact if you will be unavailable. Place that person on file at your veterinary facility giving them permission to  make medical and financial decisions for your pet if you cannot be reached.
  • Have an idea of the nearest veterinary emergency facilities anywhere you travel. We always hope you will never need this information, but know it just in case.