Holiday Safety Series: Thanksgiving

Photo: @thatgoldendog

Ah, Thanksgiving: the day of awkward extended-family small talk, football, turkey-induced comas, and squeaking in giving thanks somewhere in between. The big day can be just as stressful for your pooch as it is your belt, which is why we’ve rounded up our top tips for keeping your pets happy, healthy, safe, and stress-free this Turkey Day.

thanksgiving dog safety

Time for some exercise, pooch. (Photo:

Wear out your pup. Before you carve the turkey, carve out some time for a long walk. The holiday will be a little less hectic if Fido is post-playtime.

Avoid a raw deal. Raw or undercooked meat can contain salmonella, and a change from your dog’s regular diet can cause an upset stomach (i.e., something to clean up off the dining-room rug). Raw dough is also bad news for your pup and can lead to abdominal pain, bloating, and vomiting.

Keep calm and gobble on. Prevent begging at the table and keep pets out from underfoot by confining them to a quieter area. Keep ’em entertained with their fave creature comforts — and perhaps a new toy or treat to be thankful for.

Just say no to table scraps. Let your guests know that handouts are off-limits to your pooch. Wanna indulge Sadie? Top dress her usual dinner with a little boneless turkey, sweet potatoes or green beans, and a drizzle of gravy.

thanksgiving dog safety

Begging at the table is a total faux paw. (Photo:

Don’t give your dog a bone. Cooked turkey bones have a tendency to splinter, which puts your pup at risk for choking or serious internal damage. And skip the turkey skin; it’s difficult for your pooch to digest and can lead to pancreatitis.

Safeguard the garbage. If left unattended, your dog may opt to go dumpster diving. Keep your trash can securely fastened and behind a closed door, if necessary.

Get IDed. With so many people coming and going, make sure your pooch has proper ID and license (a requirement in Minneapolis). Get your pup’s license through and get pawtastic paybacks! No microchip? No problem! Hit up the Animal Humane Society, which offers reasonable pricing.

Be prepared. If your dog makes a run for the hills, contact your local shelter immediately and spread the word through neighbors and social media. Fido not feeling so hot? Keep your emergency vet info handy and remember that the Pet Poison Helpline is open 24/7.

Gillian Mattox

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