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9 Safety Tips to Avoid a “Ruff” Thanksgiving for Your Pets


thanksgiving-larger Whether you’re heading out of town or preparing to enjoy time at home, the holidays can be a stressful time as endless arrangements are made. In the midst of all the plans, it’s easy to forget about the small things like what to do when your pet comes begging for Thanksgiving dinner table scraps or bolts out the door in the excitement of guests arriving. “Fur-tunately,” we’re sharing our top 10 safety tips for a pet-friendly Thanksgiving.

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1. Keep Food Out of Reach

Do you have low tables or a counter-surfing pet? Try your best to place the goodies out of reach or ask a trusted guest to keep your little one entertained elsewhere as you’re busy cooking. And don’t forget to clean up! After the feast, do your best to consolidate the trash in a fashion that is inaccessible to your pet.

2. Eat This…

If you absolutely can’t resist those sad eyes, there are a few Thanksgiving foods that are safe to feed your pet. Turkey can be an excellent source of protein to share with your little one. Just make sure the small bite is well-cooked and boneless. Plain mashed potatoes and green beans are healthy vegetables that can also be a deliciously nutritious treat. And bite of cranberry sauce without too much sugar can be shared as well.

3. …Not That

It’s best to steer clear of sharing desserts, as chocolate is highly toxic for pets. Typically forgotten when dessert time rolls around, baking chocolate is frequently added when whipping up sweet treats and is highly dangerous if consumed by pets. Grapes are also poisonous for pets so make sure the cheese plate is out of reach. And alcohol (including dishes made with small amounts of it) is a definite no, as alcohol poisoning can occur in animals too.

4. Double-Check Tags

Now is the time to make sure your little one’s tags are up-to-date with your correct contact information. (Just in case!) Also, it’s important to get your pet microchipped if he isn’t already, or make sure the microchip is programmed with your current address. This way, you’ll be extra prepared in the event that he sneaks out as you greet guests.

5. Set Up a Retreat

During gatherings, pets can grow overstimulated and anxious causing them to run around, bark or even unexpectedly tinkle in front of guests. To avoid any stressors or mishaps, set up a little hideaway for your pet before the party begins. This retreat should be located away from the celebrations to minimize interruptions for yourself, while promoting relaxation for your little one. Stock the safe haven with fresh water, toys and a place to rest. If you feel comfortable allowing your pet to roam the party, make sure you keep toys within reach as distractions, and treats in your pocket to swiftly reward good behavior.

6. Wear Them Out!

During the day of the festivities, be sure to keep it moving! Ensure that your pet gets plenty of exercise and playtime in early on so that he isn’t super energized by the time guests arrive. You may want to go on a longer walk than usual or extend afternoon playtime by a few minutes.

7. Warn Guests

If you choose to allow your pet to join the party, talk to guests as they arrive to be conscious of opening and closing the door so that he doesn’t slip out. But if your pet is known to dash out the open door, you may want to keep him in another room with the door shut until everyone has arrived.

8. Be Prepared for Begging

It’s important to be ready when your pet comes begging for a bite of the meal. (I mean, who can resist those adorable eyes?) To hopefully keep the pleading to a minimum, feed your furry friend an early dinner so that he already has a full stomach by the time you’re eating. Also, make sure you politely inform guests to avoid giving your pet a bite when he comes begging. You can even leave a sweet note on the counter as a gentle reminder not to share goodies with pets.

9. Supervise Children

As guests arrive, check with parents to make certain their children are comfortable around pets. With everyone’s safety in mind, it’s essential that you or a loved one supervises any interaction between children and pets.

As for the Thanksgiving foods your furry friend can and can’t enjoy, be sure to give this list a look, and check it twice.


Whether you’re hosting or traveling for Thanksgiving, we hope you and your little one have a safe, relaxing and joyful holiday!

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