Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Your Dog
Thanksgiving is a special time for friends, family, and food—but also a time when it can be all-too-easy to slip your dog a little bit of the Thanksgiving feast from the table. With so much going on, it’s important to remember that the holidays can also present some dangers for your four-legged friend. From turkey bones and chocolate desserts, to aluminum foil and your guests themselves, follow these safety tips to help you and your best friend enjoy a happy, healthy holiday together.
Don’t Feed Your Dog Thanksgiving Food
No matter those cute puppy eyes or how much your furry friend begs, most Thanksgiving food is not good for dogs. Be careful not to feed your dog:
Bones: It can be tempting to give your buddy a bone to play with on Thanksgiving. However, bones, including turkey and cooked ham bones, can cause gastrointestinal distress and can even splinter once digested.
Grease: Thanksgiving food can be very greasy. Ham or beef fat, turkey skin, gravy, and buttery side dishes may cause stomach distress in dogs that can include vomiting, excessive gas, and pancreatitis.
Chocolate or Xylitol: Chocolate is extremely poisonous for dogs, as is the plant-based sweetener xylitol, which is often used in sugar-free bakery products.
Raw dough: From bread and biscuits to pie crusts and cookies, raw dough can cause extreme bloating and gas.
Instead of your Thanksgiving feast, if you want to celebrate the holiday with your dog, consider feeding her Bil-Jac Harvest Feast. The hearty chunks of fresh turkey and sweet potatoes in gravy is a great way to treat your dog safely, while enjoying this special holiday. For dessert, you can even give your pooch some pumpkin-flavored dog treats like Bil-Jac Dessert Jacs.
Immediately Put Leftovers Away
After your meal is over, you may have lots of leftovers to wrap up. Often, the packaging used to store leftovers can be hazardous to dogs. Along with food, keep your dog away from:
Plastic bags, especially if they smell like meat
Empty Your Trash Right Away
Any food scraps from your Thanksgiving feast can be a dangerous temptation for your furry friend. After the meal is over and leftovers are put away, remove all trash immediately.
Ask Your Guests to Help Out
Before your guests arrive, ask them in advance to be careful when opening your front door, so your dog doesn’t sneak out. If children are in attendance, remind them to be careful going in and out.
Most importantly, ask your guests not to give your dog any table scraps as well as keep an eye on your dog to make sure she doesn’t steal any scraps off the counter. Also, be sure to remind your guests to watch where they put their drinks. A couple slurps of coffee, wine, or any alcoholic beverage may be dangerous for your dog.
Make a Special Place for Your Dog
With all the holiday commotion, your furry friend may feel overwhelmed or distressed. If your dog gets nervous or scared around large groups of people, set up a special place like a crate or pillow in a quiet room for your dog to relax away from guests. There will likely be a lot going on, and a special place may be what your dog is most thankful for during the busy holiday.
Prepare for Holiday Travel
If you’re traveling with your best friend for the holidays, make sure your dog is wearing her collar and tag with your current contact information. If you’re leaving town without your buddy, rely on a good sitter or boarding facility to look after your dog.
Keep Your Vet’s Number Handy
Just in case, it’s always a good idea to keep your veterinarian’s on-call number handy, or the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline number (888-42604435, fee may apply). If you think your dog has eaten something she shouldn’t have, call one of these numbers right away. Signs your dog has eaten something toxic can include vomiting, crying or whimpering in pain, lethargy, or a sudden change in behavior.
Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy All Year Round
Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for all the blessings in life. For pet parents, our dogs are one of the biggest blessings we’re most thankful for. With a little extra planning and keeping these safety tips in mind, you can have a happy and safe Thanksgiving with your whole family!
Want more ways to keep your best friend happy and healthy? Join our Best Friends Club today. Each month you’ll receive fun training tips, information to care for your fur friends, and discounts on Bil-Jac products!