9 Pet-Friendly Thanksgiving: Tips for a Safe & Happy Holiday

9 Pet-Friendly Thanksgiving: Tips for a Safe & Happy Holiday

Pet-Friendly Thanksgiving Tips

Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude, gathering, and good food. As we prep our homes for the festive season and anticipate the arrival of family and friends, it's crucial not to forget our furry, feathered, or scaled companions. Including our pets in the festivities can be delightful, but it's essential to be mindful of their safety and well-being. Here are some detailed tips to ensure a pet-friendly Thanksgiving.


pet-friendly thanksgiving tips


#1 The Thanksgiving Feast: Safe Bites and No-Nos


Safe Bites:

  • Plain turkey: A small amount of lean, well-cooked turkey meat, free of skin and bones, can be a treat for dogs and cats.
  • Pumpkin: Plain canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix) is excellent for pets and aids in digestion.
  • Carrots: Cooked, unseasoned carrots are a tasty, healthy snack.


  • Grapes and raisins: These can cause kidney failure in dogs.
  • Onions and garlic: These can be harmful to dogs and cats, leading to anemia.
  • Alcohol: It's toxic for pets and can lead to respiratory issues, tremors, and more.
  • Chocolate and desserts: Especially dark chocolate, it's toxic to dogs and cats.
  • Bones: Poultry bones can splinter and choke or harm pets.
  • Nuts: Some nuts, like macadamia, are toxic to dogs.


#2 Create a Safe Space

With the influx of guests and the hustle and bustle, your pet might feel overwhelmed or stressed. Designate a quiet room or area for them with their bed, toys, and water. Inform guests about this safe zone, so they know where it is and can avoid accidentally letting the pet out.


#3 Guest Etiquette

Educate your guests ahead of time. Let them know if your pet has specific fears or triggers. Ask them to avoid feeding your pet from the table, no matter how persuasive those puppy eyes may be. Also, if your pet isn't sociable or if there are guests afraid of animals, it might be best to keep them separated.


#4 Decorations and Plants

While decorations enhance the festive mood, they can pose risks to curious pets:

  • Avoid candles or place them out of pets' reach. They can be knocked over, leading to burns or fires.
  • Be wary of plants. Some, like certain lilies, are toxic to pets.
  • Ensure that electrical cords (like those for string lights) are tucked away or covered.


#5 Exercise Before Festivities

A well-exercised pet is a calm pet. Before guests arrive, take your dog for a long walk or have a play session with your cat. This helps expend their energy and makes them more relaxed during the celebrations.


#6 Be Prepared for Emergencies

Despite precautions, accidents can happen. Keep your vet's contact number handy. It's also useful to know the location of the nearest 24-hour veterinary emergency clinic and have the number of the Pet Poison Helpline available.


#7 Traveling with Pets

If you're heading to another home for Thanksgiving and plan to take your pet along, prepare in advance. Ensure your hosts are okay with pets. Bring along essential supplies like food, bowls, a bed, toys, and any medications. Keep a close eye on your pet in unfamiliar surroundings, ensuring they don't get into anything harmful.


#8 Dressing Up Your Pet

If you plan to put your pet in a cute Thanksgiving outfit, ensure the costume is pet-safe. It shouldn't restrict their movement, hearing, or breathing. Always supervise pets when they're dressed up to prevent them from chewing or getting tangled in the attire.


#9 Safe Disposal of Trash

A trash bin full of food scraps is a treasure trove for pets. Bones, food wrappers, and other garbage can be harmful if ingested. Ensure trash bins are secure, and it's best to take out the garbage as soon as possible.


That's a wrap

Including our pets in Thanksgiving requires a blend of preparation, vigilance, and understanding. By ensuring their safety and well-being, we can guarantee that the holiday is memorable for all the right reasons. After all, they're not just pets; they're family. So as the leaves fall and the aroma of pumpkin pie fills the air, let's make sure our four-legged friends have just as much to be thankful for.