Thanksgiving dinner is a wonderful time for coming together with friends and family.
But, it can also be a time when guests can’t resist sneaking food to your dog from the dinner table.
And a time when your dog takes it upon himself to sample some of the delicious food left too close to the edge of the counter, or on a coffee or end table. They (just like kids) seem to sense that your level of attention on them is diminished when you have guests visiting!
So it’s no wonder that dogs have more opportunities than any other time of year to eat something they shouldn't!
Read on for my best tips for you (and your guests) to help keep your pets safe and happy during the upcoming holidays.
1. Turkey Skin
On its own, turkey skin can be fatty and hard to digest, but on Thanksgiving, it’s particularly troublesome because of all the butter, oils, and spices rubbed into it. If you must share the turkey with your dog, peel the skin off and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces. Also, consider choosing the white meat over the dark as it’s a more bland and easier to digest.
2. Holiday Plants
I know, it’s Thanksgiving, but a good number of people have already decked the halls with holly by this time. Poinsettias, holly berries, mistletoe and cedar Christmas trees are all toxic to dogs.
3. Cooked Bones
This is a big no-no! Never give these types of bones to your dog, because the reality is that a cooked bone is often brittle, and sharp pieces can get lodged in your dog’s intestine.
4. The Garbage Can
A frustrated dog who can’t get to any of the tempting, aromatic holiday foods may be tempted to dig around the trash bin to see what he can find. Make sure yours is securely closed and put away.
5. Gravy/Buttery Side Dishes
This one goes hand-in-hand with the turkey skin. Fatty foods and trimmings can cause Pancreatitis at worst, and diarrhea or vomiting at “best.” Try substituting gravy with a little turkey broth if you really want to give your pup a treat.
Glass ornaments and candles are just begging for trouble. The drill for these is the same as the other things: Supervise your dog and keep these things out of his reach!
7. Aluminum Foil and Plastic Wrap
Make sure that you properly dispose of these when you’re done with them! There are two risks here: First, your dog will be licking the fatty substances off the wrappings, and two, swallowing these can cause an intestinal obstruction.
Not that we think that you’d intentionally feed your dog chocolate (which we all know can be toxic to our canine friends), but because candy is often left out on tables for guests during the holidays, it made our top 10 list. Be sure to keep bowls filled with chocolate and other candies out of sight and reach of your dog.
9. The Kitchen
Thanksgiving may be the busiest day of the year in your kitchen, so you’ll want to keep your dog from being underfoot. With hot dishes being whisked from one counter to the next, your dog’s presence puts him at risk for being burned, cut, wanted for “grand theft”!
10. Guests Who Mean Well
Educate your less-than-dog-savvy visitors (maybe send them this list). A child may accidentally feed a dog some chocolate; your great aunt might think she’s being kind by sharing her turkey neck (the one on her plate…); and your Uncle Fred may feel extra generous and share his Jim Beam (alcohol is highly toxic to dogs!). Prevention and education are the keys to success, AND to a peaceful holiday season.