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How to Keep Your Pets Safe this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and indulging in delicious food. But while we humans enjoy the feast, it’s important to remember that some of our favorite Thanksgiving treats can be dangerous for our furry friends. From rich, fatty foods to certain ingredients and decorations, there are several hazards that pet owners need to be aware of to keep their pets safe and healthy during the holiday season.

How to Keep Your Pets Safe this Thanksgiving

While you’re enjoying your Thanksgiving meal, your pet may be eyeing your plate with curiosity and longing.

But before you sneak them a taste of turkey or a dollop of mashed potatoes, think twice.

Many of the foods we love to indulge in on Thanksgiving can be harmful or even toxic to our pets.

It’s crucial to be aware of these dangers and take the necessary steps to keep our beloved pets safe.

In this article, we will discuss some common Thanksgiving hazards for pets and provide tips on how to keep your furry friends safe and happy during the holiday season.

By following a few simple guidelines, you can ensure that your pets enjoy a Thanksgiving feast and holiday that is both delicious and safe.

1. Don’t Feed Table Scraps

While it’s true that a lot of what people can eat, pets can eat too, there are also several foods that we can eat that your pets should never have.

For example, chocolate, raisins, alcohol, raw bread dough (because of the yeast), garlic, and onions are all poisonous to both dogs and cats.

And while both dogs and cats can have turkey, you’ll want to make sure you’re giving them a small, fully-cooked piece without skin or fat.

And definitely don’t give your pets any bones (they could choke, or have difficulty digesting them).

But in general, to keep your pets safe this Thanksgiving, make a blanket rule for your family and all visitors- pets only get pet food.

2. In Cases of Anxiety, Keep Pets Out of the Way

If you have a dog or cat that doesn’t do well with crowds, children, or strange people, Thanksgiving can be more stressful for them than fun.

In that case, you’ll want to keep them in a separate room or use a pet gate.

You’ll actually want to do the same thing if one of your guests is anxious about your dog and/or cat.

The last thing you want is either your pet or guest’s anxiety leading to a biting or scratching incident.

3. Watch Opening Doors

With Thanksgiving comes doors opening and closing to let many guests in and out.

To avoid your pet running away during one of those incidents, make sure they don’t have access to the door or hold their collar each time the door opens.

Keep Track of Pets in the Yard

If your pet likes spending time outside, make sure they’re supervised when possible.

Not only could there be dangers like other animals or strangers, but also Thanksgiving decorations that are potentially harmful if eaten.

Puppy with a basket of Thanksgiving decorations

4. Keep an Eye on Your Decorations

Cats and dogs are curious creatures.

This is why if you want to keep your pets safe this Thanksgiving, you’ll need to ensure they don’t play with your Thanksgiving decor.

Don’t let cats wander near candles, or let dogs sniff garlands.

The last thing you want is a fire or your pet ingesting something non-edible.

5. Travel Safely with your Pet

Many pet parents choose to bring their pets with them during their Thanksgiving travels.

While this is a good idea for many reasons, there are some safety concerns.

Make sure that you have a pet first aid kit in your car, and that you’re traveling with a health certificate from your vet if you’re going to a different state.

Also, consider investing in a pet car crate or pet seat belt, and never leave your pet alone in your car, even if it’s cool out and you plan to only be gone a minute.

6. Take Out the Trash

An easy way to keep your pets safe this Thanksgiving is by taking out the trash as soon as the festivities are over.

This will make it so that your pet doesn’t have a chance to find their way into the garbage and eat bones, fatty foods, and other Thanksgiving garbage.

Gray cat being scanned for microchip

7. Identification

Before your guests arrive, double-check that your pet’s collar tag and microchip are up to date.

If they don’t have a microchip, get them one.

Both dogs and cats can be microchipped for $50 or less at the vet.

If they get out during the holiday, a chip could be invaluable in bringing them home.

How do you handle Thanksgiving with your pets?


Monday 12th of December 2022

i will be sure to remember this

Debbie P

Saturday 26th of November 2022

I some how missed this post before the holiday. But great info to have!

Antoinette M

Saturday 12th of November 2022

These are very important information. Thank you!


Saturday 12th of November 2022

Good tips! I always keep my dogs in a different area of the house while we're having Thanksgiving dinner, otherwise they'll definitely try to grab some scraps.


Saturday 6th of October 2018

Great it's thanksgiving long weekend, important to do all these safety procedures especially if guests gather in home

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