Dr. Nichol’s Podcast – Thanksgiving Hazards

Thanksgiving is great fun, isn’t it? Family, football, turkey, pie, beer. Hey – let the good times roll. Well, for you and me, sure, but maybe not for everybody. Badly unsettled dogs and cats may carry out some unhealthy behaviors. Watch for tense body postures around visitors or startling at sudden noises, hiding, freezing with ears flattened, the head low, and the tail tucked – these are important clues. Scared dogs may lick their lips and yawn. Stressed cats might over-groom.

Pets need a break from the holiday action. Hide boxes for kitties and out-of the-way resting areas for dogs will make it easy for them. Playing music designed just for dogs, called Through a Dog’s Ear, can promote a calmer emotional state.

Zylkene is a tasty supplement that’s helpful for mild to moderate anxiety in dogs and cats. There’s also a fast acting antianxiety gel called Sileo that’s given between a dog’s lip and gum. It’ll work best if given before a particularly raucous event. Your veterinarian can prescribe Zylkene and Sileo.

Surreptitious snacking on chocolate, grapes, onions, garlic, and raisins should be avoided. Drinks with alcohol can be dangerous, especially for smaller pets. Whatever one’s personal choices, there’s a responsibility to avoid inflicting intense fear on unsuspecting creatures. Keep mood altering substances beyond the reach of children and pets. If in doubt have a suspicious pet examined.