CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s not just humans that need to be safe during the holidays. Thanksgiving tends to coincide with an increase in vet visits.

According to a news release sent to 22News from MSPCA, “Many of us like to treat ourselves with chocolate as we prepare and celebrate Thanksgiving, but it can be toxic for pets,” explained Dr. Kiko Bracker, director of emergency care at MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center. “It’s rarely fatal, but it could cause myriad issues, including diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, increased heart rate, agitation, and cardiac arrhythmias.”

Dr. Bracker says these foods must be kept away from pets:

  • Garlic, Onions, and Chives: Large amounts of these foods can significantly damage red blood cells, causing anemia and possible kidney failure.
  • Meat Bones: Bones may seem like a treat, but they can splinter and cause damage or blockage in your pet’s gastrointestinal tract.
  • Yeast Dough: When pets eat raw yeast dough, it can rise in their stomachs and often requires surgery to treat.

According to American Kennel Club, turkey meat, sweet potatoes, green beans, and pumpkin are safe, healthy foods to share with your dog. Bones, sweets, and fatty foods are all things that should be avoided.

Plain foods are the best choice for your dog, so try to avoid sharing food prepared with butter, spices, or other fatty ingredients. If your pet gets into something it shouldn’t, get help immediately.

There are other things that pet owners should beware of this holiday season. “This is also the time of year that people start using chemicals to melt ice on driveways and sidewalks,” Bracker said. “Those are not only potentially lethal if eaten by a pet, but they can also burn dogs’ paws if they walk on it.”

“The recipe to a safe and happy Thanksgiving is to be mindful of your pets at all times,” Bracker added. “Don’t leave lit candles on tables pets may knock over, be careful not to step on them if they’re underfoot in the kitchen, and, if your pet has anxiety, make sure they have a quiet place to retreat to if the Thanksgiving crowd is too much for them.”