Including Your Dog In Your Thanksgiving Celebrations

The weather is brisk but beautiful, football is on the television, family has gathered and everyone eats probably way too much. A question many people often have is “How do I include my dog in all of this?” After all, your dog is a part of your family. We’ll cover the best ways to include your best friend and make this Thanksgiving one to remember.

Risks of Thanksgiving For Dogs

While Thanksgiving is a lot of fun, it’s important to make sure you, your family, and your dog are all safe.

A Dog With Anxiety

It’s important to prepare your pup if you plan on having extended family over. Many dogs do not mind a bunch of people in their house, especially if it is people they know. Oftentimes though, Thanksgiving is a time where we have extended family over and maybe your dog doesn’t know these people. It’s important to know if you have a dog that gets anxious around strangers or anxious around lots of people in close proximity to them. A good way to proactively deal with your dog’s anxiety and give them a better Thanksgiving experience is to provide them with calming supplements.

Food Risk

Not every food on Thanksgiving is suitable for your pet. While it’s good practice to avoid giving your pup food from the table anyways, make sure to be extra careful about what you slip to them on Thanksgiving, be especially careful if you give your dog any turkey. While a dog can eat very little turkey, make sure that the turkey you give them is fully-cooked and has no bones in it. Bones are serious issues for a dog’s digestive tract and fully-cooked turkey gets rid of the risk of your dog getting salmonella. Be sure to not give your dog any raw bread dough, as the yeast in the raw dough will continue to convert the sugars in the dough to carbon dioxide gas, resulting in bloat which can be life-threatening for your dog. In general, it is a good idea to keep an eye on any sorts of foods that are poisonous to dogs that are common during Thanksgiving, including grapes, raisins, onions, and chocolate.

How To Include Your Dog

Now that we got the risks out of the way, there are many fun ways to include your dog in this holiday. Including your dog is important since your dog is just another member of the family.

Consider adding a little bit of dog-friendly Thanksgiving food to their food bowl. This can be things like bits of fully-cooked turkey without bones, some dog-friendly vegetables like sweet potatoes or green beans. These little things will make them feel even more included in the holiday. Be sure to not give them too much turkey, as this can cause health issues! Adding water to their food bowl may make it a bit messy but it helps with switching up their normal dinner for the special occasion.

Fetch After A Feast

After the activities of cooking and eating have died down, take this chance to head outside with your pup, add them to the family football game or play some fetch. They’ll enjoy the activity, and you and your family will enjoy being outdoors for a bit following a big meal. With the outdoors may come allergies so be sure to check out our blog on fall allergies.

A Dog Preoccupying Activity

If your dog looks bored or is bothering people at the table for food, maybe consider giving them something to occupy their time. Something like a bully stick, flip boards or treat balls will make it so they stay occupied for a while and stay away from bothering people at the table.

A Dog-Friendly Dessert

When it comes time for the traditional Thanksgiving desserts like pumpkin pie, you can include your pup in this too! Save some pure pumpkin puree with nothing added from making the pumpkin pie and give some to your dog. When everyone sits down for dessert, give some puree right to your dog or put some in their food bowl. Keeping these tips in mind will let you, your family, and your dog have a fun and safe Thanksgiving celebration. Make sure to keep all food not fit for dogs away from the table edges, and be sure to not let your guests give your dog any scraps without asking you first!

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