8 Tips for a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving With Your Dog


Holidays are an exciting time. Delicious food, family and friends gather and memories are made. But keep in mind your pup needs some attention and socializing too. Keep these eight tips in mind to make sure your pup has a wagging tale and a barking good time this Thanksgiving.

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1. WATCH DOORS AND GATES. With people coming frequently, sometimes a door or gate is accidentally left open and an anxious pup might take that as an opportunity to escape the busy household. Remind your guests not to leave doors or gates open. If Fido is prone to running away it might just be a good idea to keep him in another room while guests are arriving to avoid them slipping out the door.

2. CREATE A SAFE PLACE. With all the hustle and bustle of more people in the house your dog my become overstimulated or overwhelmed. Make sure your dog has a quiet place that he or she can retreat to if needed. Something like leaving the door to your room cracked open with their favourite bed and chew toy waiting for them is perfect if they need somewhere to go get away from all the excitement.

3. LEAVING FOR THE HOLIDAY. If you are going away for the holidays make sure to make arrangements for your pup to be taken care of by a trusted friend or make arrangements with a boarding facility. Do not leave your dog alone for long periods of time, especially days at a time.

4. BE AWARE OF DANGEROUS FOODS. Although there may be many delicious treats we enjoy on Thanksgiving, there are some food items that are dangerous for dogs that you never knew of. Holidays are often a busy time for vets because dogs get into all kinds of food that are harmful to them. Before giving Fido that left over turkey leg make sure to check this list below, so they won’t have any stomach issues and you won’t need to make a trip to the vet during your holiday.

  • Turkey bones – Cooked bones are very dangerous for dogs. They are brittle and shards can break off in your dogs throat which can result in an emergency vet visit.
  • Onions and Garlic – Found in stuffing can lead to nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Sage and Nutmeg – Among other spices and herbs used in Thanksgiving meals that can cause indigestion, vomiting and in some cases cause seizures.
  • Raw Egg – Always be careful when you are baking. Watch for raw egg in cake batter or when rolling out your pie crust. Raw eggs can cause vomiting and abdominal pain.
  • Corn on the Cob – Corn is a main ingredient in many dog food brands, but if whole kernels are ingested it can cause blockages in your dogs intestines.
  • Chocolate -When desert time rolls around make sure your dog doesn’t get into any chocolate. It is extremely toxic for dogs and can cause numerous problems. Some of which are vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and even death.
  • Alcohol – As with any special occasion many people enjoy wine or other alcoholic beverages during the holiday. Alcohol is often used in cooking as well. For dogs alcohol is poisonous and they should be monitored closely if alcohol is ingested.

5. MONITOR FEEDING. Keep in mind when it comes time to ring the dinner bell, that you may not be the only one feeding your pup treats and scraps. Depending on your family, kids may accidentally spill some mashed potatoes on the floor or your great aunt may be sneaking treats to your pooch under the table. Be careful not to over feed your pup. It’s good to have a stuffed turkey, but not a stuffed pup.

6. GUEST AWARENESS. Your guests may mean well by feeding him a piece of turkey skin so make sure to educate your guests in what is safe and what is unsafe to feed Fido, or if he should be receiving scraps at all. Also keep a close eye on children when around the dog, they won’t necessarily remember what’s safe and what isn’t for him or her to eat.

7. AFTER MEAL CLEAN UP. After the meal keep an eye on the garbage can and the stack of dirty dishes. Once leftovers are taken off the table and all the scraps are in the garbage it’s a good idea to take the garbage out right away. It may smell like a smorgasbord to Fido, but is full of items that are harmful to his wellbeing. If your not careful that turkey left on the table might just be gobbled up.

8. EXERCISE. Holidays are often a time when your regular schedule is thrown out the window. It’s easy to get caught up in decorations, food prep, and visiting with the family, but don’t forget that Fido still needs his regular attention and exercise. Bundle up in your cozy fall sweater and boots and take the family on a little walk so your pup is still getting his exercise. It will also help keep him calm if he is all tuckered out when it’s time to sit down and bring out the turkey.

Keep these eight tips in mind to make sure your pup has a wagging tale and a barking good time this Thanksgiving.

Wishing everyone a happy and safe Holliday Season

Written by: Charlotte Viau for The Woof Dog Lounge and Spa