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Do's and Don'ts for Celebrating Thanksgiving with Your Pets

Do's and Don'ts for Celebrating Thanksgiving with Your Pets

November 08, 20233 min read

As Thanksgiving approaches, the anticipation of delicious meals and quality time with loved ones grows stronger. For many, our pets are an integral part of the family, so including them in the festivities is only natural. However, it's crucial to keep in mind that some aspects of the holiday may not be pet-friendly. To ensure a safe and joyful Thanksgiving for both you and your furry companions, here are do's and don'ts of celebrating Pet Thanksgiving.


  • Pet-Friendly Feast: Prepare a special Thanksgiving meal for your pets. While you indulge in turkey and traditional dishes, offer your pets a pet-safe alternative. Cooked, boneless turkey meat, sweet potatoes, and plain green beans are excellent options. Ensure that the food is free from seasonings, spices, and additives that may be harmful to pets.

  • Safe Treats: Treat your pets with pet-friendly snacks and treats. Pumpkin, which is often associated with Thanksgiving, is a great choice for pets as it is rich in fiber and low in calories. Ensure that any treats you offer are safe for the specific type of pet you have.

  • Mindful Morsels: Be cautious about sharing table scraps. Some human foods, such as onions, garlic, grapes, and chocolate, can be toxic to pets. Keep the festive goodies out of reach and educate your guests about not feeding your pets under the table.

  • Quiet Space: Create a quiet and comfortable space for your pets. Thanksgiving gatherings can be overwhelming for animals, especially with guests, noise, and unfamiliar smells. Set up a cozy spot with their bed and favorite toys where they can retreat if they need a break.

  • Gratitude Walks: Incorporate a thankful walk into your day. Take your dog for a leisurely stroll before the festivities begin. Not only does this provide them with exercise, but it also helps them burn off excess energy, making them more relaxed during the celebration.


  • No Bones About It: Avoid giving pets cooked bones. Turkey bones can splinter and cause choking hazards or digestive issues. Ensure that bones and carcasses are disposed of safely and securely to prevent curious pets from getting hold of them.

  • Watch the Alcohol: Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets. Alcohol can be extremely harmful to animals, causing symptoms like disorientation, vomiting, and, in severe cases, even coma or death. Remind guests to be mindful of their drinks and never leave them unattended.

  • Decorative Dangers: Steer clear of decorations that may pose a threat to pets. Certain festive items, such as candles, potpourri, and decorative plants like poinsettias, can be toxic. Keep them out of reach or opt for pet-safe alternatives.

  • Crowded Countertops: Resist the temptation to let your pet roam near the kitchen. With all the hustle and bustle of meal preparation, it's easy for pets to get underfoot. Hot stovetops, sharp utensils, and spills can lead to accidents.

  • Stressful Surprises: Be mindful of loud noises, such as fireworks or loud music, that might accompany Thanksgiving celebrations. Some pets may find these disturbances stressful or frightening. Provide a quiet, secure space where they can retreat if necessary.

This Thanksgiving, make sure your pets are not only included in the celebration but also kept safe and stress-free. By following these do's and don'ts, you can create a pet-friendly Thanksgiving that everyone, furry friends included, can be truly thankful for. After all, there's no better way to show gratitude than by ensuring the well-being and happiness of those we cherish, both human and animal alike.

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