Doggie Thanksgiving: Pupparing You and Your Pet for Turkey Day

Doggie Thanksgiving - Dog staring at a turkey

Thanksgiving is all about everyone being together, and that includes your four-legged family members. Of course, you want your pup to be involved with the holiday festivities, but you have to be prepared for the ups and downs of the holiday season.

So let’s review everything you need to know to keep Fido safe this Thanksgiving.

The Food

Since Thanksgiving is a holiday that centers around food, one of your primary concerns is likely what is and isn’t safe for your dog to eat. You know that they’re going to be giving you those puppy dog eyes from under the table, so it’s best to know in advance which foods have the green light.

Terrific Table Treats for Dogs

  • Sweet Potatoes: If you’re making sweet potato casserole, then you can set aside some of the plain sweet potatoes for your pup. Sweet potatoes have a lot of fiber, vitamins, and carotenoids that are fantastic for your dog.
  • White Turkey Meat: A little bit of white turkey meat to go with their sweet potatoes gives your dog the total Thanksgiving meal experience.
  • Raw Carrots: Carrots are great for your dog’s health because they have plenty of vitamins, fiber, and potassium.
  • Raw Green Beans: Green beans are another safe and nutritious option for your pup.
  • Fresh Cranberries: Although the canned or jellied cranberry sauces are a no-go, if you have fresh cranberries, you can give them to your pet as a sweet treat.
  • Fresh Pumpkin: If you’re using fresh pumpkin to make your holiday pie, you can set some aside for your pup. Not only is pumpkin nutritious for your dog, but it also can help them with an upset stomach.
  • Brussel Sprouts: If your kid won’t eat them, maybe your dog will.
  • Apples: Apples offer another sweet and nutritious treat for your pup.

The No-No List

It’s tempting to just toss things to your dog right off the table, but if it comes out of a can or is heavily seasoned, it’s probably not the best option for your dog. These are the foods you should avoid giving your pup at all costs.

  • Fatty Foods: High-fat foods can trigger pancreatitis in dogs.
  • Turkey Skin: While white meat is safe for your pup, turkey skin is a fatty food and can cause problems.
  • Bones: Poultry bones are incredibly dangerous for dogs because they can splinter and puncture their intestines or stomach.
  • Nuts: Nuts, especially macadamia nuts and walnuts, can cause an allergic reaction in some dogs. It’s better to be safe than sorry with nuts.
  • Nutmeg: Nutmeg is one of the ingredients in pumpkin pie spice, so anything containing nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice should be avoided.
  • Dough: If you’re baking fresh bread or pastry, you shouldn’t toss them pieces of raw dough because it can upset their stomachs.

If you want to distract your dog while you’re eating foods they can’t have, you can offer them their favorite chew toy to keep them busy while the family eats.

Additionally, ensure that your dog stays out of the trash can once the cooking and meal are done. This is important, especially if you have a trash can without a lid, in case some of the toxic foods or a turkey net are thrown away in there.

The Guests

Apart from the food, Thanksgiving poses an issue with the increase of people in your house. You don’t want to put your dog in a room for the whole evening, but you may want to designate a quiet space for them in case they get scared.

You know your dog better than anyone, and you’ll know whether your dog gets anxious around a lot of people. If your dog has anxiety around strangers, you may want to talk to your vet about natural sedatives.

Before your guests arrive on Thanksgiving, take your dog out for a long walk or a trip to the dog park so they can get some of their energy out.

While you’re cooking, do your best to keep your dog out of the kitchen. Because you’ll be concentrating on following recipes or removing hot items from the oven, you don’t want to worry about tripping over your pup. Have someone play with the dog, or get them a puzzle toy or something to gnaw on in the other room while you’re in the kitchen.

And when it’s time to sit down for the meal, be sure to remind your guests not to give your pup table scraps, no matter how much they beg.

If you want to get your dog extra puppared for the holidays, you can enroll them in one of our training classes at Ruffgers.