While most pet owners consider their pets to be a part of their family, the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control would like to remind everyone that most Thanksgiving food is only safe for your two-legged guests.

Consider the following list of what not to do with your pets during the holiday break. Work to ensure that your Thanksgiving festivities are not interrupted with a trip to the vet.

• Keep food and drinks out of the reach of your domestic animals. Be sure especially to keep chocolate and other desserts away from your pet’s reach.

• Turkey bones can be deadly for pets. Turkey bones have splinters that can easily puncture a dog or cat’s internal organs. If you wish to share some of the turkey meat with your pets, make sure the meat is boneless. Turkey can be a wonderful lean protein, you will just want to be sure to remove any excess skin or fat; stick with white meat, and make sure there are no bones.

• The best time to feed your pets (their own food) during this holiday is when you are about to sit down for your Thanksgiving meal. You can keep your pets busy during the interim by providing them with a toy or rawhide stuffed with treats.

Of course, there are some Thanksgiving dishes that are safe for our pets, such as mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. However, many times additional ingredients are used in recipes that can be forgotten about by the time the dishes hit the table. Nothing with alliums (i.e., onions, garlic, leeks, and scallions) should be ingested by your pet. They can lead to toxic anemia if eaten in a large quantity.

As a reminder, always keep your pet’s license current. A current license and ID tag (affixed to your pet’s collar) is the only voice a pet has if he or she becomes lost during the busy holiday.

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