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Creating the Best Pet-Friendly Thanksgiving Ever

Dog sniffing plate of turkey dinner.In previous Thanksgiving blogs, we have focused on the importance of avoiding pet toxins and other holiday emergencies. We also paws-ed to give thanks to our fur-bearing buddies by listing all the wonderful ways we’re grateful for them.

This season, along with some pet safety reminders, we want to help you create a pet-friendly Thanksgiving that will be tail-wagging fun for all. If you’re ready to give your pet the best Thanksgiving yet, check out our tips!


A Holiday for Hounds (and Kitties, Too!)

Do you feel like it’s the same-old, same-old when it comes to Thanksgiving? This year, why not make Thanksgiving special for your pet? While they may have been relegated to the guest room during past Thanksgivings, this time around, you can make a plan that includes your pet in some of the feasting and merriment.

Here are a few suggestions for Thanksgiving-themed pet activities:

  • Take your well-behaved and leashed pet to a pet-friendly pumpkin patch or farmers market for some socialization with other dogs and their owners.
  • Rake up all the fallen leaves in the yard and allow your pet to jump into the pile. The whole family can get into the excitement (and photos are a must!).
  • Sew a catnip-filled toy for your favorite kitty using fall-themed fabric patterns. Check out Pinterest for some inspiration.
  • Organize a neighborhood tag football or ultimate frisbee game for pets and their people.
  • Call up your yoga and dog loving friends and plan a morning of Doga (yoga with your dog, of course) at the park.
  • Dress your dog with this warm and cozy (and water resistant) coat for some brisk hikes on a beautiful trail.
  • Get your cat gussied up for dinner with this stylish bowtie, reminiscent of the colors of fall.

Feast for Beasts

Now that you have your list of pet-friendly activities, it’s time to consider the best part of Thanksgiving – the food!

While you can’t give your pet all the fixins (especially not the toxic ones), you can treat them to a meal of their own by following a few simple rules, the first of which is portion control. Any of the following items are ok for your best pal (in moderation):

  • Small amount of turkey (remove skin and bones)
  • Unseasoned mashed potatoes, yams, or carrots
  • Unseasoned corn (not the cob)
  • Pure pumpkin puree (without sugar or sugar substitutes)
  • Unseasoned and steamed green beans

You can also treat your pet to some of these homemade pumpkin snacks! Just be mindful about how many they’re eating, since these calories can add up quickly.

Gifts of Gratitude

If you and your pet have many things for which to be grateful, you may decide to help another deserving pet this year. Animal shelters are always in need of pet food, beds, bowls, and other items. Likewise, most animal charities welcome a donation, so you can feel great about supporting a worthy cause.

A Pet-Friendly Thanksgiving Reminder

Now that you have some good ideas for hosting a pet-friendly Thanksgiving, it’s equally important to consider the risks this holiday. Thanksgiving, along with many other holidays, are busy times for emergency clinics and the Pet Poison Helpline. Keep these toxins away from your pet:

  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol
  • Onions and garlic
  • Raisins and grapes
  • Alcohol
  • Yeast
  • Macadamia nuts

Keeping a close eye on your pet can go a long way, but it’s sometimes best to put your pet in a secure room during cooking, eating, and clean-up.

For more information about pet-friendly holidays, please contact us. Happy Thanksgiving from West Park Animal Hospital!

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