Even if you're limiting your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner to just the immediate household, pets are part of the family so we may be tempted to give them a few extra table scraps. In most cases, veterinarians say the holidays can be problematic for dogs and cats, leading to more appointments and office visits.
Dogs often show more gastrointestinal issues, including vomiting or diarrhea based on unfamiliar foods. Dr. Victoria Torres of Southern Hills Animal Hospital says dogs can have some food from the table, as long as it's bland.
"A little bit of white turkey meat, that's okay as long as there's no drippings, skin or bones," Dr. Torres said. "A little bit of mashed potatoes before you add all the cheese, the butter, the sour cream, all the fixins to it, that's okay too."
But it's not just the meal, pets have been known to eat decorations and gifts.
"A lot of times, people will give families food items as a gift so they stick it under the tree and then later on that night will come home and the pet will have consumed whatever that item is," Dr. Torres said. "Their sense of smell is pretty spot on so they'll find it."
Cats are also affected during the holidays, but often in a different way. Dr. Torres recommends a pheromone diffuser for cats who get stressed out. When there are a lot of unfamiliar people around the house, cats may start to urinate outside their litter box.
However, it can be a bigger problem if your cat starts eating the tinsel off the family Christmas tree since that can cause severe digestive issues.