HOW TO HAVE A PET-FRIENDLY THANKSGIVING
Thanksgiving is that special time of year that is all about family, including the furry members! And as we all gather to reminisce, watch football and indulge in that Thanksgiving feast, there are ways to make sure your pet can join in the family fun. Safely!
If you’re hosting the holiday at your home, there are some simple things to keep in mind that will avoid any incidents or emergency room visits:
MAKE SURE YOUR PET IS READY FOR GUESTS
Even pets that are people friendly can get overwhelmed when there are more people than usual in his/her space. Cats especially can get anxious or stressed. A good idea for your cat is to make sure (s)he is kept in a separate, quiet room. Make sure their bed, a favorite blanket or toy is in there as well for added comfort.
Taking your dog on a walk that morning before guests arrive and after dinner will give him/her some sense of normalcy. Giving your dog a new toy that day will also help keep them distracted. If your dog is showing signs of stress, or your home is normally quiet with a couple of people, consider putting him/her in a private room where they will feel safe and comfortable. Give them a place to lay down and they have their bed or blanket. This will all help keep them at ease until guests leave.
WATCH FOR ESCAPE ARTISTS
If your pet is comfortable enough to hang with the humans, make sure someone is watching him/her at all times – especially when guests are coming in and out of the door! Even the most well-behaved pets get tempted to dart out the door amidst the excitement. Let your guests know to be conscious of the door as well.
More importantly, make sure your pet is wearing his/her tags with your contact information and that their microchip is up to date.
DECORATIONS ARE FOR LOOKING AT ONLY
Candles, flowers, and other holiday décor is to pets like a shiny penny is to a monkey – their curiosity takes over! Keep decorations out of your pet’s reach, and this is another instance in which a new toy could help distract them from the things they don’t need to be paying attention to.
KEEP THE FOOD ON THE TABLE
It’s tempting to sneak your pet a little treat from the table (after all it’s a holiday!) but avoid temptation! So many human foods are harmful or toxic to your pet. The ASPCA provides a list of human foods your cats and dogs should avoid. Also let your guests know to keep their Thanksgiving delicacies on the table and their plates.
To let your pet feel like they’re part of the feast, here are some great recipes for Thanksgiving-inspired treats for your dog, and recipes just for your furry feline. As with all nutrition, check with your vet to make sure the recipe(s) are appropriate for your pet.
Again, there's no reason why every member of the family (2-legged and otherwise) can't join in the Thanksgiving celebration. After all, they're as thankful for us as we are for them.