Dog Health, Pet Tips

Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips

November 11, 2021

I’m not quite sure how, but Thanksgiving, for those of us in the US, is right around the corner!  The aroma of the Thanksgiving turkey and numerous other delicious foods cooking is enough to make anyone’s mouth water, especially your pets! During all the excitement the holiday brings, it’s important to remember that some of our holiday favorites can be toxic or unhealthy for our pets. Keep these tips in mind to make sure all members of your family have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!



Thanksgiving Pet Safety TipsProvide your pet with plenty of fresh water!

With all the excitement of greeting guests, making new friends, and possibly trying out new foods, your pet is likely to work up quite a thirst! Always make sure to provide your pet with clean, fresh water.

Don’t overfeed your pet!

With so many different foods to try, it’s hard not to overeat on Thanksgiving. But overfeeding your pet can cause upset stomachs, vomiting, and diarrhea. Feeding large amounts of fatty foods can be dangerous to pets. Pancreatitis is a painful and potentially dangerous condition that can be caused by a diet too high in fats. While a small amount of table scraps may be okay to offer your pet, don’t overdo it. Advise any guests not to feed your pet, and always avoid foods high in fat, sweets, and cooked bones.

Learn what foods are toxic to your pet!

It’s important to learn what foods are safe to feed your pet, and which aren’t. You don’t want to accidentally feed your pet something that could be dangerous to him/her. What foods to avoid will depend on what species your pet is.  Make sure you do your research and learn what foods to avoid!

Keep an eye on your decorations!

For a playful pet, holiday decorations may be confused as fun new toys. But decorations can be dangerous to your pet. They may be a choking, or impaction hazard if your pet inadvertently swallows them. Decorating is festive and fun!  But keep it safe as well by making sure all decorations are out of your pets reach.

Make sure to secure your garbage can!

With all the food wrappers and scraps being thrown out, the smells coming from your trash can are likely to be very tempting to your pet! Make sure your can is secured and pet proof.

If you serve alcohol, keep it away from your pets.

To most people, keeping food out of their pets reach is common sense. But it’s important to keep an eye on your drinks as well, especially if your drinking something potentially dangerous to pets, such as alcohol.

Minimize stress for your pet.

The holidays can be stressful for humans and animals alike. Minimizing your pets stress level will go a long way towards making sure your pet is comfortable throughout the holiday season. Maintain your pets regular schedule as closely as possible. Give your pet a ‘safe zone’; a place where they can go to escape the hustle and bustle of the holiday excitement if they need some time to relax. If you can, set aside a room in your house that is off limits to guests.  Give your pet has a nice peaceful area it can retreat too if the need arises.

Make sure your pet is wearing an ID tag!

If your pet is a cat or dog, or other uncaged pet, make sure they are wearing their collar and ID tags, and/or that they are microchipped. With guests going in and out of the house frequently, your pet may decide to take advantage of an open door. Make sure to tell your quests to be careful around the doors.  Keep a careful eye on your pet so he/she doesn’t attempt to make an escape.

If you are traveling with your pet, plan in advance!

Traveling can be stressful, and you don’t need the added stress of having to prepare for traveling with your pet last minute. Make all travel arrangements and pack for you pet ahead of time to reduce stress on the day you are going to travel.

Maintain safety around guests!

If you are expecting guests for the holidays, make sure they treat your pet with respect. Be extra careful around children who may not know how to handle your pet properly. Inform all guests of your house rules regarding pets, including making sure they are aware of what holiday foods shouldn’t be given as treats.

With a bit of work, the holidays can be just as enjoyable for our pets as they are for us!  It’s our responsibility, as animal guardians, to ensure that our pets remain as happy and stress-free as possible, even during the craziness of the holiday season.  Comment below!  What are some other things you do to keep your animals comfortable during the holidays?  Happy Thanksgiving to anyone celebrating it later this month!

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  • Reply Kamira Gayle November 13, 2021 at 10:56 am

    These are all great tips to keep your pets safe as we enter the holiday season. Another tip that worked for me when bringing my cat to family functions was to bring a favorite toy and keep my cat’s carrier open but within access for her, so she could “escape” and feel comfortable in case the environment was too chaotic/loud. Sometimes a familiar scent helps calm our pets when in environments that are unknown. Thanks for sharing these tips!

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack November 13, 2021 at 4:57 pm

      That’s a great tip too! IMO “safe places” for our pets to escape too when they need some time away from all the excitement is SO important. My two dogs have their crates, and in the past when we’ve had company over for the holidays we also keep a room off limits to guests for the dogs. Bringing something that smells familiar to your pet if you travel with them is such a great idea!

  • Reply Terri November 13, 2021 at 10:39 pm

    Excellent tips for a safe Thanksgiving with your pet. I can’t believe it’s almost here either. It’s often easy to overlook the dog water bowl when you’re juggling 15 dishes on the stove. That is a very good reminder. I also like the reminder not to overfeed your dog. My current dog, Henry, is the only dog I’ve ever known who will stop eating (even treats) when he’s full. I think I need his willpower or stomach. Happy Thanksgiving! I hope it’s a delicious and safe one for you and your family.

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack November 15, 2021 at 12:30 pm

      Thank you! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours as well! It sounds like my Kitsune could learn a lot from Henry too, lol. I swear Kit would eat until he exploded if I let him.

  • Reply Marjorie Dawson November 14, 2021 at 7:44 pm

    Valuable and sensible advice here. I especially like the ID disk or tag (and microchip and collar…..) I always say to my cat friends with indoor cats – get a chip. Your pet getting out can be a nightmare if they run too far for you to chase, and microchips and collars with tags can get your pet to safety so much faster.

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack November 15, 2021 at 12:32 pm

      So true! Both my dogs are microchipped, and I keep ID tags on their harnesses that they wear every time they go outside. They also have collars with tags that I don’t normally keep on them, but I do put them on if we have company etc just as a precaution.

  • Reply Ruth Epstein November 14, 2021 at 8:27 pm

    Great tips and I am so so careful with holidays as I do not want any problems. Thank goodness Layla is a picky eater which makes life easier LOL

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack November 15, 2021 at 12:33 pm

      Right lol! My Fenrir is the same – he’s SO picky I don’t think I’d ever have to worry about him eating anything weird. Kit, on the other hand, inhales anything he even thinks might be food, so I have to keep an extra close eye on him.

  • Reply Nikki November 15, 2021 at 7:59 am

    These are great tips! For us, the biggest thing is to make sure all food items are up on the counter and away from the edge. I remember one year we had things on a side table that was head-level for my pups, and they just walked by and literally snacked on the edges of all the food items. I’m sure they enjoyed it at the moment – but we ended with a bit of an upset stomach later.

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack November 15, 2021 at 12:35 pm

      Aww that’s unfortunate about the stomach upset, but I bet it makes for a funny holiday story after the fact, though! I guess I’m a bit lucky that my dogs are small, as long as we keep food on the table or counters they can’t reach anything. Although there have been a few instances when they’ve jumped up and pulled plates off the side of the counter, so I’m also careful to keep things away from the edges lol.

  • Reply Beth November 15, 2021 at 10:03 am

    These are excellent tips for keeping dogs safe for Thanksgiving! We only have family members over on Thanksgiving, so they know the best ways to interact with our dogs. Now that we have a granddaughter, we have to supervise the dogs a little more closely.

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack November 15, 2021 at 12:38 pm

      Thank you! Kids and pets can be a challenge for sure, but it sounds like you’re on top of things.

  • Reply Sweet Purrfections November 19, 2021 at 10:22 pm

    Holiday season can be stressful for our pets. These are excellent recommendations for dogs and cats!

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