Thanksgiving is a time to be with family.  Many of us consider our pets part of our family and it’s important to make sure that the festivities include keeping pets in mind. Think back to the smell of food when you arrive as an invited guest at someone’s house.  It smells awesome to us. Imagine what your pet is thinking.

You can avoid tragedy by being aware of the hazards and dangers to your dog and by practicing a few Thanksgiving dog safety tips.

  • Do not leave food unattended and within reach of your pet.  It only takes seconds for a motivated fur-kid to pull off the big caper – taking the food and either scarfing it down or running with it.
  • Dogs can get overly excited and nervous. Include your Pet in your Thanksgiving preparations.
    • Don’t neglect your pet.  It is always good to take them for a longer walk to tire them out. 
    • Make sure to have something special to occupy your pet, whether it is their favorite toy or a chew that will keep them occupied. Toys and chews will also help them get out some of that nervous energy.
    • When you eat or if your pet gets over excited or nervous, prepare a pet safe room away from all the commotion. Make sure to have water, his bed, a favorite toy and some entertainment (the animal channel or the radio). A puzzle toy or a Kong-like toy is always a good way to keep them entertained for hours.
    • While an open door to welcome guests can be enticing, be careful not to taunt the pets with an open door that begs for an escape. Be on the safe side and make sure your pets have ID tags just in case they slip out.

    Some Hidden Dangers to Pets

    • When a pet is excited or stressed, they may do things that are uncharacteristic, such as consuming odd things.  This can lead to eating something that is dangerous (a cooked bone), poisonous (onions, chocolate) or eating objects that can get stuck in their intestinal track, causing a blockage or perforation. Here are a few items that are common to have around the house during the holidays that can be harmful to pets:
      • Baking string or mesh (that you use on a turkey or a roast)
      • Napkins, plastic bags or shrink-wrap covering
      • Plastic dinner wear like utensils, glasses, plates plastic wrap, skewers, tin foil, toothpicks….
      • PLEASE don’t give cooked bones to your dog. Cooked bones spell disaster for your dogs because they easily splinter and could puncture your dog’s throat or intestines. Put any leftovers in tightly closed containers and refrigerate them immediately to keep them away.