With an endless stream of visitors, food, and commotion, Thanksgiving chaos calls for lots of excitement and temptation for even the most disciplined dogs and cats. Follow this list of quick tips to reinforce good obedience from your four-legged friends and ensure that the big day runs smoothly.
1. Take caution when feeding your pooch!
If you decide to give your pet some turkey, make sure that it’s fully cooked and boneless. Raw or undercooked turkey may contain salmonella and could put your pet at risk. It’s also important to remember that while turkey bones may seem like the perfect treat for your pup, it’s better to opt for a more pet-friendly alternative. Real bones are a choking hazard and could potentially cause internal damage by breaking into sharper pieces.
2. Know What’s Not Pet Food
Just because it’s okay for you to eat, doesn’t mean it is for your pet. For example, uncooked bread can expand in the stomach and cause abdominal pain; and starches like corn are difficult for them to digest. Ask your vet for a list of what foods your pet can and can’t have, and when in doubt – don’t let them have it. Have some treats on hand instead, to let them know it’s a special day for them too!
3. Take out the Trash Frequently
Determined pets can – and will – go digging through the trash to get hold of those tasty scraps. Take the trash out regularly throughout the day, and keep the garbage in a place they won’t be able to get into.
4. Candles & Pets
Candles are a popular addition to any holiday meal. With all of the surrounding excitement, pets are less likely to notice if, for example, their tail catches fire in the midst of all the Thanksgiving chaos. Make sure you don’t leave any lit candles unattended just in case.
5. Guests & Pets
Not everyone loves animals as much as we do, and some of your guests may not want to have a dog or cat roaming around the dining room table or perched on their lap during the Thanksgiving meal. Not only that, but even if your pet isn’t a beggar, kids are known for giving out scraps under the table. It may be best to keep your pets out of the dining room during the meal. Otherwise, make sure that your guests know to keep their food to themselves and choose a chew toy to keep your pet distracted and happy.
6. Proper Identification
It’s important to be aware that lots of guests means lots of doors opening, even when you’re not paying attention. If your pet isn’t being kept to a certain area, leaving the door open could lead to a missing dog or cat! Who knows how long it will be before someone notices amongst all of the greetings and excitement. Make sure your pet has ID tags and is microchipped before your guests arrive in the event that anything does happen.
7. Doggy Pre-game
It’s a good idea to exhaust your pet before the guests arrive. A tired pup is usually a more well-behaved one. Take your pup for a run or a game of fetch, so that he or she will be calmer and more likely to nap during all of the visiting.
8. Initial Action
Holidays can frighten and cause stress for even the most mellow dogs and cats. As your guests arrive for the big day, it might be a good idea to sequester your pet in a separate room. Leave what he or she will need to be comfortable — a bed, toys, treats, etc., and after things have settled, let him or her come out to mingle.
9. Table Food
All those pre-dinner snacks on your coffee table pose as a major temptation for your pet, who might not understand what is or isn’t theirs. Keep your pet in another room during the hors d’oeuvres or place the food out of reach to prevent your appetisers from disappearing.
10. Maintain Routine
Avoid accidents by maintaining your pet’s normal schedule as best you can on Thanksgiving day. Animals have an internal clock just like us, and they usually go to the bathroom around the same time every day. Changing things up can cause anxiousness. With new and noisy guests, a hectic agenda, and emotions running high, it’s easy to forget your four-legged family members might be just as stressed out as you. Keep to a similar feeding and walking routine to provide a sense of regularity and relieve stress.
Wishing you and your pet the most purr-fect Thanksgiving!