Thanksgiving and Your Pup

The holidays are the perfect time to gather your family and loved ones, socialize, and enjoy not only each other’s company but also some delicious foods. From scrumptious turkey to a variety of tempting pies, there’s no shortage of feast when Thanksgiving rolls around.

Thanksgiving is also a time set aside to truly appreciate all the blessings in your life. If you’re like us, your dog(s) definitely make that list!

Unlike the classic scene featuring Snoopy in “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” though, the food and festivities are not necessarily good for pets. So, to keep your pup happy and healthy this Thanksgiving, we’ve put together a few dos and don’ts of the holiday!

Keep Them Active

With all the hustle and bustle of the season, it can be easy to let your usual pup-related activities fall to the wayside—especially if you’re playing host. However, it’s important to include your canine companion in more active events.

If, for example, a spontaneous game of touch football breaks out in the front lawn, find a way to both distract and entertain your pup rather than leaving them out. It’s the perfect time for fetch or frisbee!

It’s also important not to neglect walks or other activities that help your dog stay happy and healthy. You can even strategically plan their walk before guests arrive in order to get some of that rambunctious energy out!

Watch What They Eat

While you’re busy trying to talk yourself out of eating one more slice of pie, your pup is probably dreaming of table scraps, leftovers, and even the bits of food that end up in the trashcan. The food temptation is as real for them as it is for you!

Overfeeding your dog in the form of consistent snacking throughout the day can quickly make them sick. Supplementing this with an alternative—such as a dental chew—can help distract them and keep them busy.

The other food danger of Thanksgiving comes in the form of non-dog-friendly foods. Cooked bones, nuts, grapes, chocolate, and more can all be unhealthy or even dangerous to your pup. Make sure to do your research before the big day arrives so you know exactly what your dog can indulge in and what they can’t!

Have Realistic Expectations (and plan accordingly)

The holidays can be overwhelming for even the most enthusiastic people, so it comes as no surprise that your pup can find this time of year to be difficult. As such, it’s important to have realistic expectations and plan accordingly.

Supervising children around your dog is vital, especially if neither party is accustomed to the other. Despite good intentions, children can sometimes be rough or overstimulate your pup. The last thing you want is an accident that puts someone’s comfort or safety on the line.

You may also want to consider giving your dog a space of their own. Not only will this give them a reprieve from the chaos of activity and guests, but it will also allow them to play and relax while you and the other humans enjoy your feast. You can even outfit their special place with their favorite toys and other comforting items!