Giving thanks,  sharing a great meal with family, and having a costly visit to the 24-hour emergency veterinary hospital with your beloved pet? To keep the last item off of your Thanksgiving to-do list, follow this advice from the specialists at Florida Veterinary Specialists, a BluePearl Veterinary Partners Hospital, in Tampa, Fl: The start of the holidays can lead to emergency room visits for our four-legged pals due to a conflux of situations that are unique to the season. This is the time of year where there are usually a lot of shiny decorations in the house, which may prove irresistible as playthings. There is also a lot of great food around and guests who may be unfamiliar with pets' dietary restrictions and/or the proper things to feed the furry ones.  There can be first-time pet parents who may not know how to handle certain situations and, to top it all off, many veterinary offices are closed during the holidays.

According to Dee Ann Dugger, DVM, senior clinician in the emergency service at Florida Veterinary Specialists,  "It helps to give some thought to some of the hazards our pets face during the season."

Holiday meals –Turkey, gravy and other foods that have a large amount of fat can cause pancreatitis, which is an inflammation or infection of the pancreas. This disease can be serious and lead to extensive hospitalization. Avoid feeding your pets any table foods and keep them on their regular diets even through the holidays. Besides avoiding pancreatitis or a less serious, upset tummy, you will also avoid a weight gain in your pet.

Family visits – If family visits are stressful for you, think about how your pet feels. These folks may be strangers to your pet and it can get very noisy around the house, especially during parties. Make sure there is a quiet room or place for your pets to get away from the crowd. Also make sure everyone is on high-alert so your pets don't escape when guests come and go.

From the BluePearl Veterinary Partners family to yours, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!