Thanksgiving Safety Tips For Your Dog


Thanksgiving is a time of gratitude. We celebrate with family and friends by indulging in all those wonderful comfort foods we serve for a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

Before we get to the food that our furry family members should avoid, let’s talk about the non-food related safety tips.

  1. Make sure your dog is wearing a collar and ID tag with current contact information. This is important whether you are traveling or hosting guests. If you are entertaining in your own home, let your guests know that you have a dog(s). Explain how important it is that they are careful when entering and exiting the house - closing the doors behind them can save your dog’s life.
  2. If you will be traveling and leaving your dog at home do not leave your dog alone. Use a good pet sitter or boarding facility. The best option is to have a regular pet sitter, who your dog knows, stay in your home with your pet while you’re away. This limits the stress your dog experiences when you leave him/her.
  3. Make sure your dog gets his/her regular exercise and playtime whether it’s with a pet sitter or you.
  4. Supervise all play between dogs and kids for everyone’s safety.
  5. If you have a dog that sneaks things off the counter when you turn your back, ask someone to keep your furry friend occupied while preparing the meal.
  6. Keep treats and toys nearby to distract your dog and reward good behavior.
  7. If you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner, remind your guests not to feed your dog table scraps.
  8. Remove all trash and bones after dinner. The last thing you want is for your dog to find a sharp bone while rummaging through the garbage.

 Thanksgiving Foods

It is always best to keep your dog on his/her regular diet during the holidays. However, a few pieces ofboneless cooked turkey (without the skin), some sweet potatoes (without the marshmallows), and some green beans (without butter or nuts) with a drizzle of gravy should be fine. Do not let your dog overindulge as this can cause diarrhea, stomach upset, or worse, an inflammatory condition known as pancreatitis.

Raw turkey, stuffing, cake, appetizers, anything spicey, anything with alcohol should all be on the “no feed” list for your dog.

Following are 4 harmful Thanksgiving foods for pets that the ASPCA has specified:

  1. Onions and garlic – These are usually found in stuffing, mashed potatoes, casseroles and other dishes served at Thanksgiving. Onions and garlic can be toxic to your dog if ingested in large amounts.
  2. Turkey bones – As with all animal bones, they tend to splinter when cooked. Splintered bones can cause esophageal damage and or intestinal damage resulting in the need for surgery.
  3. Bouillon – Bouillon cubes are often used when making gravy, stocks, and other items. They are very high in sodium and can lead to hypernatremia. (Symptoms include gastrointestinal upset, polydipsia, ataxia, tremors and seizures.) If left untreated, your dog can develop cerebral edema that can be fatal.
  4. Baked goods – Pumpkin pie, apple pie, whipped cream, and ice cream can lead to pancreatitis if eaten. Baked goods made with xylitol can cause hypoglycemia – possibly resulting in liver failure.

If your dog has indulged in any of the above mentioned call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 for assistance anytime, 24/7. It is always better to be safe than sorry!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!