Help your family enjoy a dog-friendly/dog-safe Thanksgiving!

At Variety Pet Foods, we believe dogs are able to say “Thank you!” far better than humans. All that tail-wagging, face-licking, furry cuddling…their lives embody gratitude, especially when they’re loved and cared for as they deserve to be. If your dogs could speak and got the chance to say (or bark) what they’re thankful for during the upcoming Thanksgiving meal, we bet it’d take all night long for them to finish their list.

At the same time, it’s easy for dog owners to spoil their furry family members to an unhealthy degree, especially during the holiday season. We figure since it’s a special occasion, what’s a turkey leg (or two, or three…oh, and a bowl of mashed potatoes and gravy!) going to hurt?

Actually, if you aren’t careful, your dog’s Thanksgiving Day celebration could quickly turn fowl (sorry, couldn’t resist)! Here are some important tips on how to keep your dog safe and healthy during the holiday festivities–while also keeping them part of the family feast fun:

  • Cook that turkey! – Would you eat raw turkey? Blech! So why would you want to pass on raw slivers of meat or giblets to your puppy? The dog may be willing to gobble (there we go again!) down anything you slip his way, but they don’t know any better! You do, so remember that if you want to treat your dog to a few bites from the turkey platter, make sure the bird is cooked thoroughly and safe for consumption. Oh, and double-check for and remove any bones.
  • Maintain healthy boundaries – Dogs can quickly be overwhelmed by all the sights and smells and extra activity family holidays tend to have. Take precautionary steps such as ensuring food is placed far enough back on counters that it can’t be pulled down to the floor by a hungry pup. And if the family dog is acting up, give them space outside where they can get away from the hubbub while burning off some extra energy.
  • Hurtful herbs and ingredients – Thanksgiving meals often have lots of spices and herbs involved, and these heavy seasonings can often have a negative impact if your dog gets a mouthful. Sage, for instance, can cause severely upset stomachs in pups. Onions are another ingredient that’s toxic to dogs! Here’s a larger list of plants and human foods to keep out of reach of your cuddly canine.
  • Keep their meal separate – Make sure your kids or other family members aren’t sneaking scraps under the table for the dog to wolf down. Stick to the usual meal routine and place any extra treats in your dog’s usual feeding bowl.
As alternatives to letting the dog snitch from the Thanksgiving feast itself, consider treating them to Variety Pet Food recipes that are designed just for this kind of occasion. Here are some that are perfect turkey alternatives:

 How does your family celebrate Thanksgiving? Do you have any traditions that involve the pups? We’d love to hear about them!

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