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5 Steps to a Pet-Friendly Thanksgiving

The holiday season has officially begun. Make sure you ring it in right this Thanksgiving by hosting — or attending — a gathering that will help your pet feel safe and calm. From keeping your pet distracted around company to safe Thanksgiving food for dogs, we have all the tips you need this year for a fun and pet-friendly gathering.

KEEP THEM CALM AROUND COMPANYIf you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year (or bringing your pet to a relative’s house), it’s important to keep them calm around the extra guests. One way to do this is by entertaining them with enrichment toys. Try adding Gut Health Mixers, plain pumpkin puree, and plain Greek yogurt to a Kong or ice cube tray and freezing it for a festive Thanksgiving-themed popsicle. Or skip the freezer altogether and spread the mixture on a Lickimat! 

We also recommend crating your pet (or keeping them in an isolated room) if they get too stressed out or if you expect them react poorly to company. Just make sure their favorite toys are accessible and consider flipping on the “Dog TV” or “Cat TV” as a welcome distraction. 

Recipe for an enrichment toy

AVOID DANGEROUS FOODSAny unfamiliar foods have the potential to upset your pet’s stomach, so be careful what table scraps you slip them. Specifically, here are a few foods dogs shouldn’t eat on Thanksgiving: the turkey carcass (they might ingest bones or bone shards), gravy (it’s high in fat and can cause pancreatitis or GI upset), alcohol of any kind, desserts (chocolate and xylitol are both potentially deadly for your pet), and bread dough (it can lead to severe bloat and alcohol intoxication).  

FEED THEM FESTIVE TREATS Let your pet in on the festive fun with treats they can actually eat. Thanksgiving food safe for dogs and cats includes unseasoned turkey, sweet potatoes (but don’t overdo the butter!), green beans, pumpkin, corn (off the cob), and apples this season. Or you can even buy pre-made concoctions, like Busch’s limited-edition turkey “dog brew,” a bone broth beverage flavored with turkey, sweet potato, turmeric, and ginger.  

KEEP THEM AWAY FROM PLANTSWhile that gorgeous hydrangea centerpiece might bring your whole table together, it’s toxic to your pet. Check out the ASPCA for a list of plants that could harm your pet this Thanksgiving. Or to be extra safe, just keep your pet away from all plants and table decorations until the guests leave and you can relocate them.  

GET ACTIVE TOGETHERIf your family tradition is a post-meal football game or holiday morning Turkey Trot, include your dog in the fun! Bring a disc along for some fetch or see if any short races allow dogs to come along. If physical activity isn’t your jam on a holiday, we understand. But take your pup out for an extra-long walk in the morning before company arrives so they’re calm and snoozing in the afternoon. Consider taking them for another walk after they eat, too.  

With these simple tricks, you can keep your pet safe and happy this Thanksgiving (and begging for just a little more turkey, please). And if you’re looking for raw treats to keep them content, we recommend you start here 

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