by Rebecca R.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and between the grocery shopping, decorating, cooking, and traveling, it’s easy to forget to plan for dog safety. Below are a few tips to help keep your dog safe this Thanksgiving.

Plan Ahead For Dog Introductions

If you and your dog visit a home with its own canine family members, a neutral spot for introductions is necessary. A nearby park or a proximal street in the neighborhood are good options. 

Going for a walk is a great way to determine how they will be getting along. Please make sure both dogs are leashed at the meeting and pay attention to your dog’s body language to gauge how they’re feeling. Watch out for warning signs such as raised hackles, upright or tucked tails, barking, or lunging. 

Never leave your dog unsupervised with another dog. 

When welcoming human guests, keep your dog leashed to avoid potential escapes as guests enter your home. If your dog feels a bit shy, allowing guests to offer your dog treats can help break the ice. 

It may start with tossing treats in their direction first and inching closer over time. However, if your dog isn’t comfortable with guests, it may be best to have them stay in a quiet room or their crate, away from the action.  

Human Food That’s Harmful To Dogs

Common Thanksgiving foods can be toxic or dangerous to dogs, including but not limited to chocolate, candy, sweets, and turkey. Not only are turkey seasonings not good for your dog, but the bones can be harmful, too. Poultry bones are small and brittle, making them particularly dangerous to dogs. These bones, if eaten, can cause throat and intestinal blockage, choking, constipation, injuries to the mouth, punctures in the stomach or intestinal lining, and more. To keep your dog safe be mindful of the following: 

  • Ensure that all food is out of their reach
  • Avoid leaving food and dishes out on the table after your meal.
  • Clear meal remnants right away and keep the trash secure. 

If your dog is around the table during the meal, do not feed them table scraps. If you’d prefer your dog not be around the table, give them a “place” command and have them stay on their bed or in their crate during the meal.

Holiday Decoration Safety

Typical Thanksgiving décor, like candles, pumpkins, and corncobs, can be harmful to your dog. Candles can cause burns to sniffing noses and wagging tails, while pumpkins and corncobs can break into small pieces and obstruct airways and digestive tracts if ingested.  

We recommend using battery-operated candles and placing all decorations out of your dog’s reach. 

Here’s to a happy and safe Thanksgiving!