For many, Thanksgiving is not just a time to remember everything you have to be thankful for – it also means food, family, friends, and football! So whether you’re hanging out at home with your pets or traveling to be with your loved ones, here are a few tips to keep your four-legged friends safe and happy during the holiday.
1. Just say no (to dangerous foods, I mean).
While you may be tempted to feed your dog table scraps this Thanksgiving, remember that fatty, salty foods can upset your dogs stomach. Never give your dog poultry bones; they are brittle and can scratch your dog’s throat, or worse, become lodged in his esophagus. Also remember to keep your dog away from dangerous foods such as raisins, grapes, nutmeg, chocolate, onions, avocado, macadamian nuts, and raw potatoes.
2. It’s not just food that you need to watch out for.
Be mindful of items that can pose a danger to your dog this Thanksgiving. Turkey pop-ups, string, skewers, cellophane wrap, tin foil, and plastic bags can smell wonderful to your dog and be quite tempting when left unattended. Place these items, along with turkey bones, in the garbage and make sure the bin is out-of-reach of your pets.
3. Keep your dog busy!
Here’s a great tip from the ASPCA: While the humans are chowing down, give your cat and dog their own little feast. Offer them Nylabones or made-for-pet chew bones. Or stuff their usual dinner—perhaps with a few added tidbits of turkey, vegetables (try sweet potato or green beans) and dribbles of gravy—inside a Kong toy. They’ll be happily occupied for awhile, working hard to extract their dinner from the toy.
4. If you must feed them from the table, PLEASE READ THIS.
Many people will be not be able to withstand the temptation to give their dogs a little Thanksgiving treat from the table this holiday. It’s fine to give your pet a SMALL sample of your turkey, but make sure it is completely boneless and fully cooked. Undercooked turkey may contain salmonella bacteria. And remember that a plate for a human is WAY too much for a dog that is likely less than half of your weight. Trust me, the aftermath of your doggie’s binge eating will NOT be pleasant.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!