Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and food, but it's important not to forget about our furry friends during the festivities. Dogs are part of the family, and it's only natural to want to include them in the celebration. However, Thanksgiving can be a dangerous time for dogs if they are not properly supervised.

There are many potential hazards for dogs during Thanksgiving, such as toxic foods and increased stress levels. It's essential to take steps to ensure that your dog stays safe and healthy during the holiday.

This article will provide tips on how to safely celebrate Thanksgiving with your dog, including what foods to avoid and how to manage your dog's stress levels. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy a happy and healthy Thanksgiving with your four-legged friend.

black puppy looking at cupcakes

Understanding the Risks of Thanksgiving for Dogs

Thanksgiving is a time of celebration and indulgence for humans, but it can be a dangerous and stressful time for dogs. Dogs are often overwhelmed by the noise and activity of holiday gatherings, and they may be exposed to a variety of toxic foods and hazardous situations. It is important for dog owners to understand the risks and take steps to ensure their pets' safety and well-being during the holiday season.

One of the biggest hazards for dogs during Thanksgiving is the food. Many of the traditional Thanksgiving foods are dangerous or toxic to dogs, including turkey bones, onions, garlic, chocolate, and grapes.

These foods can cause a range of health problems, from upset stomachs to more serious conditions like pancreatitis and kidney failure. It is important for dog owners to keep these foods out of reach and to make sure that their guests are aware of the dangers as well.

In addition to the food, the stress and excitement of the holiday can also be overwhelming for dogs.

Dogs may become anxious or agitated by the noise and activity of holiday gatherings, and they may be tempted to escape or run away. It is important for dog owners to provide a safe and quiet space for their pets to retreat to during the festivities, and to make sure that their dogs are properly identified with tags and microchips in case they do get lost.

Overall, Thanksgiving can be a fun and enjoyable time for dogs and their owners, but it is important to be aware of the potential hazards and take steps to ensure their safety.

By keeping dangerous foods out of reach, providing a safe and quiet space for dogs to retreat to, and being aware of the signs of stress and anxiety in dogs, owners can help their pets enjoy the holiday season as much as they do.

fi gps dog collar

Safe and Unsafe Thanksgiving Foods for Dogs

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks and share a feast with loved ones, including our furry friends. However, it is important to be mindful of what foods are safe and unsafe for dogs. Here are some foods to avoid and some that are safe for your dog to enjoy:

Unsafe Foods for Dogs

  • Turkey Bones: Turkey bones can splinter and cause blockages or tears in a dog's digestive system. Keep your dog away from turkey bones, including cooked bones.
  • Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine, which can be toxic to dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is for dogs.
  • Xylitol: Xylitol is a sugar substitute found in many sugar-free gums and candies. It can cause a rapid insulin release, leading to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and liver failure in dogs.
  • Onions and Garlic: Onions and garlic contain compounds that can damage a dog's red blood cells, leading to anemia.
  • Raisins and Grapes: Raisins and grapes can cause kidney failure in dogs.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma, and even death in dogs.

Safe Foods for Dogs

  • Turkey Meat: Turkey meat (boneless and skinless) is generally safe for dogs. It's a good source of lean protein. Look for products that use white meat turkey as it has lower fat content than dark meat varieties. Avoid turkey skin, bones, and excess fat.
  • Pumpkin: Pumpkin is a good source of fiber and can help with digestive issues in dogs. Plain, canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) is safe for dogs to eat in moderation.
  • Green Beans: Plain, cooked green beans are a healthy snack for dogs. They are low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They can be given to dogs in small amounts, cooked and mashed, without any added sugar or seasoning.
  • Mashed Potatoes: Plain, mashed potatoes are safe for dogs to eat in moderation. However, avoid mashed potatoes that contain butter, cream, gravy, or other fatty foods.
  • Apples: Apples are a good source of fiber and vitamins. Remove the seeds and core before giving them to your dog.

It is important to remember that dogs have different digestive systems than humans and certain foods that are safe for us can be toxic to them. Always consult with your veterinarian if you are unsure about whether a particular food is safe for your dog to eat. Additionally, be mindful of portion sizes and avoid overfeeding your dog, as this can lead to pancreatitis, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Keeping Your Dog Safe During Thanksgiving Celebrations

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and of course, delicious food. However, it can also be a time of stress and overwhelming activity for your furry friend. Here are some tips to help keep your dog safe and happy during the Thanksgiving celebrations.

a dog looking at the camera

Supervise Your Dog Around Guests and Children

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner means having more people, activity, and noise in your home. While some dogs are happy to have visitors, others can be shy and nervous. It is important to know your dog's personality and have a plan to keep them and your guests comfortable.

Supervising your dog around guests and children is essential to prevent any accidents or injuries. Children may not understand how to properly interact with dogs, and guests may not know your dog's boundaries. Make sure your dog has a quiet, safe space to retreat to if they feel overwhelmed.

Keep Your Dog Away from Thanksgiving Food

While prepping your Thanksgiving feast, knowing which foods to keep out of your pet's reach and jaws is important. Some people foods can be toxic to pets, while other items like turkey bones can present a choking hazard. Discarding plate scrapings properly is vital to protect your pet from trash bin hazards.

If you decide to feed your pet a small bite of turkey, make sure it's boneless and well-cooked. Don't offer them raw or undercooked turkey, which may contain salmonella bacteria. Stay away from giving your dog Thanksgiving turkey skin. Not only is it fatty, but all the butter and spices that are often used can be harmful to your dog's digestive system.

Provide Your Dog with Plenty of Exercise and Playtime

Thanksgiving can be a busy time, but it is important to provide your dog with plenty of exercise and playtime. Take your dog for a walk before your guests arrive, and make sure they have their favorite toy to play with. This will help to burn off any excess energy and keep your dog calm throughout the day.

Consider Boarding or Crating Your Dog

If your dog gets overwhelmed easily, it might be a good idea to consider boarding or crating them during the Thanksgiving celebrations. This will give them a safe and quiet place to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the festivities.

Ensure Your Dog is Properly Identified

With all the activity and people coming and going, it is important to ensure your dog is properly identified in case they get lost. Make sure your dog has a microchip and identification tags with your current contact information. If you plan on traveling with your dog, make sure they have a health certificate and all necessary vaccinations.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your dog has a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving celebration.

white ceramic bowl with rice and green vegetable

Dealing with Potential Thanksgiving Hazards for Dogs

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and food. But for dog owners, it's also a time to be extra cautious about potential hazards that can harm their furry friends. Here are some tips to help keep your dog safe during the holiday season:

Trash and Festive Decorations

Thanksgiving often involves lots of food and decorations, which can be dangerous for dogs. Dogs are known to scavenge through the trash and eat anything they find. This can lead to choking hazards, life-threatening obstructions, and poisoning. Therefore, it is important to keep trash cans out of reach and secure them with lids.

Festive decorations such as candles, floral arrangements, and decorative plants can also be harmful to dogs. Candles can cause burns, while flowers and plants like poinsettias and mistletoe are poisonous and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even death. It is best to keep these items out of reach of your dog.

Medications and Poisonous Foods

During Thanksgiving, there are many foods that are harmful to dogs. Foods like onions, garlic, chocolate, grapes, raisins, and avocados can be poisonous and cause serious health problems. It is important to keep these foods away from your dog and to be careful not to drop any food on the floor where your dog can reach it.

If your dog does ingest something harmful, it is important to contact your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline immediately. They can provide you with instructions on how to handle the situation and what steps to take to ensure your dog's safety.

fi gps dog collar


Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and good food. It is also a time to be mindful of your furry friends and their safety. With the right preparation and knowledge, you can ensure that your dog has a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

Remember to keep your dog's behavior in mind when hosting a dinner. If your dog is not used to being around a lot of people or has a history of being anxious, consider keeping them in a separate room or providing them with a blanket or bed in a quiet corner. Additionally, make sure to provide plenty of water for your dog throughout the day.

When it comes to food, there are many healthy options that your dog can enjoy. Plain cooked turkey without any bones or skin is a great choice, as well as sweet potatoes and green beans. However, there are also many foods that can be harmful to your dog, such as onions, garlic, chocolate, and grapes. Be sure to keep these foods out of reach and provide your dog with their own special treats.

Pet safety tips are important to keep in mind during the holidays, and Thanksgiving is no exception. If you are attending someone else's dinner, make sure to ask if it is okay to bring your dog and provide them with a safe space away from the festivities. Quick action can save lives, so be sure to have your veterinarian's phone number on hand and know the signs of poisoning.

In conclusion, with a little bit of planning and preparation, you can ensure that your dog has a happy and safe Thanksgiving. By following these tips and being mindful of your dog's needs, you can enjoy the holidays with peace of mind.