Five Thanksgiving Tips for the Dog Owner

Written by:

PetMD Editorial
Published: November 21, 2011

Happy Turkey Day!

Turkey Day is upon us and it’s going to be a fun one filled with food, family, and really expert begging from our doggy friends. Here are five great tips that will help you and your dog have a wonderful and pain-free Thanksgiving.



1. Pay Special Attention to the Food

Your Thanksgiving meal, while delicious, will be chock-full of things on a dog’s no-no list. That includes turkey, which is often stuffed and basted in fats to crisp the skin and make the meat moist, mashed potatoes with gravy and onions, stuffing, and, well, pretty much everything else. So please, no table scraps.

2. Stop the Begging

We know, we know, this is an impossible task. Be crafty instead. Keep healthy treats or something especially prepared for your dog on the table and feed him that when he begs. Of course, we know this shouldn’t become a habit, but it’s that time of year when well-meaning guests may slip your pooch delicious morsels. So set up the ground rules beforehand and either have one person in charge of feeding the begging dog, or outfit every one with a few healthy dog treats and make sure they are the only things to be given to the dog.



3. Make a Special Doggy Dinner

If you want to make sure your dog is part of the festivities, then you can. Buy a little extra turkey (like a leg) and remove the skin and simmer it on the stove top with some dog approved veggies. Let it simmer down, cool, and then strip the meat from the bone and serve your dog his very own Thanksgiving dinner.

4. Be Prepared for an Emergency

There's no telling what can happen when food, activities and fur come together for this fateful holiday. Have the contact number for your veterinarian, the nearest animal hospital and pet poison helpline  (1-855-213-6680) readily available, lest you be unprepared for a medical emergency.

5. Become a Mover and Shaker

After dinner it’s very easy to want to just take a nap. But snap on your dog’s leash and get out there and walk. Great exercise for you after eating a huge dinner, and a great treat for your pooch. Make it special. Go a different way, or go for a longer walk. Just make sure you get that walk in and burn a few calories.