Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips


With Thanksgiving just one week away and all of the winter holidays also right around the corner, it’s a good time to remind pet owners about food safety for pets during the holidays. What do you need to know about keeping your dogs and cats safe around all that yummy people food this holiday season? Here’s some practical advice, courtesy of


Turkey: A small amount of plain, white meat turkey is OK to give to your dog or cat. But don’t give them too much, and make sure they don’t eat things like skin, bones, drippings, seasonings, or gravy. Too much of these rich foods can result in intestinal upset (gastroenteritis) or even pancreatitis. Make sure cats don’t get on the counter or dogs in the trash to eat undercooked turkey or the turkey carcass.


Stuffing: The biggest danger of stuffing is the onion and garlic used to season it. These foods can be toxic to dogs and cats, especially large quantities. Also make sure to keep your pets away from raisins, grapes, or currants used in stuffing, these can be highly toxic to dogs.


Mashed Potatoes, Candied Yams, and Other Side Dishes: Traditional sides are dangerous for pets because they contain significant amounts of things like butter, cream, and other types of fat. Consumption of rich, heavy foods can lead to pancreatitis. Certain breeds of dogs (miniature schnauzers and silky/Yorkshire terriers) and dogs with preexisting health conditions like diabetes or endocrine disorders are especially at risk. Plain green beans and carrots are safe for pets.


Corn on the Cob: Keep corn on the cob and discarded corn cobs away from your dog. Dogs that swallow corn cobs are at risk of dangerous intestinal obstruction.


Homemade Bread and Rolls: It’s OK for your pet to eat a little plain bread, but the danger comes when you’re baking bread that contains yeast and your pet ingests the rising raw dough. The warmth of your pet’s stomach will trigger the fermentation that occurs when yeast and starch mix. Fermentation releases dangerous alcohol and gas into your pet’s system, leading to both alcohol poisoning and an obstructed stomach. Never leave dough out on the counter to rise overnight. Place any dough well out of reach of pets, such as in a turned-off oven.


Pumpkin Pie and Other Desserts: While a little plain pumpkin puree is fine for pets and can even help with their digestion, most prepared desserts are too rich for pets. Be especially careful about keeping your pets away from chocolate, which is toxic to dogs and cats, and sugar-free desserts containing the sweetener Xylitol, which is very harmful to dogs.


Cooking and Leftovers: Make sure to protect your pets from ingesting things like aluminum foil, kitchen twine, rubber bands, and similar food prep or wrapping items that could pose a choking hazard or cause an intestinal blockage.


Photos: Dogs and their Humans Having Fun at FACE’s Golf Tournament!


Special thanks to everyone who helped make FACE’s 4th Invitational Golf Tournament (held Nov. 2 at Lomas Santa Fe Country Club) a big success! We hope everyone had a great time and you and your four-legged friends can join us again next year.


Couldn’t make it this time around?  No problem, enjoy these great pictures of some very happy dogs…and golfers…and we’ll look forward to seeing you next year!












All About Trap-Neuter-Return for Feral Cats

Alley cat1

Did you know that tens of millions of stray and feral cats are living (and reproducing) on the streets of the U.S.? What’s the most effective way to deal with the homeless cat overpopulation problem? Experts believe that trap-neuter-return (TNR) is the best way to address this issue. What is TNR? Here’s a quick overview…

Alley cat2

But first!  …What’s the difference between a stray and feral cat? A stray cat is a tame cat that has been socialized to people at some point in its life, but has become lost or abandoned and is now living on the streets (not always by choice). A feral cat has had very little contact with humans and will show fear towards people. Feral cats usually choose to live on their own outdoors and generally can’t be socialized enough to become house pets.

Alley cat4

What are the components of trap-neuter-return?

Trap: Humane traps are set up near a colony of cats to trap as many of the group as possible. Neuter: The cats in the traps are taken to a spay/neuter facility where they are altered (and often vaccinated for diseases like rabies). Return: One quarter of an inch is removed from the tip of a neutered feral cat’s left ear while the cat is under anesthesia. Ear tipping is a way of indicating that a feral cat has been fixed.  The cat is then returned to its colony.

Germany, Bad Oldesloe | 2012 06 19 | SAC | stray cats on a private area, ready to be caught and sterilized

TNR helps to reduce the number of homeless cats on the streets…and in animal shelters. To learn more about TNR, check out the website for the advocacy group Alley Cat Allies.


November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month

Senior pet2

It’s always a good time to adopt your new best friend, but why not consider adopting a senior dog or cat during the month of November in celebration of Adopt a Senior Pet Month? Open your heart to a senior pet from your local shelter or rescue group. Many of these sweet animals have lived most of their lives with a family, only to have been surrendered as older adults. You can help turn their lives around…and get a calm, loving, and well-trained companion while you’re at it.

Senior pet1

Here in San Diego, the San Diego Humane Society is waiving adoption fees for all animals 7 years and older during the month of November. You can find similar incentives at shelters and rescue groups all over the country.

Senior pet3

Check out this heartwarming video of adoptable senior pets from the Best Friends Animal Society, as if you needed any more inspiration: