As the national day of thanks and feasting is just around the corner, all the bustle and buzz of the holiday seasons is in full swing. In just a few days’ time, turkey will be cooking in the oven, cranberry sauce on the stove, and the fun and the blissful chaos that so often accompanies this season will ensue. In the midst of the festivities it can be difficult to keep an eye on all the visitors, children, plates, cups, and hot dishes in the house, not to mention the animals! Whenever humans get together, it can be easy to forget about or overlook the pets that are present. There is so much food around, that one careless hand could expose your pup to a toxic ingredient that would turn your Thanksgiving dinner into a long afternoon at the veterinarian’s office. While you are counting your blessings and dining with your friends and family this year, remember these helpful tips on how to keep your pets safe and well on Turkey Day!
Feed your dog early. Before all the guests come over with their piping hot dishes and scrumptious foods, make sure your pup has already eaten and has a bit of food in his stomach. This will cause him to be more laid-back and less likely to frantically attack your Uncle George when he arrives with those bacon-wrapped dates!
Feed your dog during dinner. When you give your dog the first pre-Thanksgiving snack, split his daily food portion into two servings instead of just the normal one. By giving him a little food now, and then the rest of the portion while the family is eating, it will help keep him fully and occupied.
Keep your dog out of the kitchen. Another good idea is to help keep your dog out of the kitchen, while people are wandering in and out and filling up their plates, or going back for another mug of cider. If your dog is kept out of the kitchen, he will not have a chance to swipe any unseen scraps that may have fallen to their floor. Though you enjoy the company of your pup, unless you can successfully monitor his every move, Thanksgiving Day would be a good time to keep the dog crated or in the back yard or utility room until all the dining hours have passed.
Help him celebrate! To help ease the blues of separation, you can show your dog how thankful you are for him, by getting him a special treat. Providing a delicious morsel (even like these homemade treats or make him his own veggie-mash gravy to top his food bowl.) Or get him a new dog bone or fresh (treat-hiding!) toy to help entertain him during those idle hours while the humans are feasting.
Give him safe leftovers. Dog noses are very sensitive, so instead of driving him crazy with all the yummy aromas of turkey, stuffing and gravy, find out which healthy leftovers you CAN bring to the doggie bowl. Remember to review our dangerous thanksgiving dishes list before you do, so that nothing toxic ends up on your dog’s plate!
Finally, limit the treats. With the puppy treats, special concoctions, leftovers and pup-appeasing nibbles, your dog could soon start to swoon with a stomach upset. Let your relatives and visitors know that dog treats should be kept at a minimum, and that your dog already has a hearty meal coming his way. Don’t let them be fooled by those puppy-eyes, especially if you have a Beagle, Labrador, or a Rhodesian Ridgeback, as these dogs are known to be determined treat-beggars. Resist the urge to over-feed your dog, and you will be grateful that nothing he ate will resurface!