Tail-Wagging Turkey Day: Tips for a Pet-Safe Thanksgiving

Hello, pet parents! With the holiday season upon us, it’s time to prepare for one of the most anticipated celebrations – Thanksgiving. While this festive occasion brings joy, warmth, and delicious food, it’s important to remember our furry friends and their unique needs during these bustling times. Let’s dive into some tips to ensure a pet-safe Thanksgiving!

Adorable dog sitting patiently by a Thanksgiving spread, waiting for pet-safe holiday treats, as part of our blog post on tips for a pet-friendly Thanksgiving celebration.

“mmmm… that sure does look good” -Fido

1. Beware of the Feast

While it’s tempting to share your turkey dinner with your four-legged pals, remember that not all human foods are safe for them. Foods high in fat, such as gravy or skin from roast turkey, can lead to pancreatitis in pets. Also, onions, garlic, raisins, chocolate, and anything containing the sweetener xylitol are toxic to dogs and cats.

If you want to include your pets in the feast, consider making them a special dish. Cooked pumpkin, carrots, or green beans can be a healthy treat for dogs. For cats, plain cooked turkey can be a real delight. But remember, moderation is key!

2. Keep the Calm

Holidays can get chaotic, and the noise and bustle can stress your pets. Designate a quiet room where your pet can retreat. Make sure it has fresh water, a comfortable bed, and their favorite toys.

Image: Freepik

3. Safe Decorations

Holiday decorations can pose threats to curious pets. Keep candles out of reach to prevent burns or fires. Avoid décor that can be a choking hazard, like small ornaments or artificial autumn leaves.

Image: Freepik

4. Watch the Door

With guests coming and going, there’s a chance your pet could slip out. Ensure your pet’s tags are up-to-date, just in case.

5. Trash Patrol

A lot of Thanksgiving waste—turkey bones, corn cobs, string from the roast, foil, and plastic wrap—can be harmful if ingested by pets. Make sure to keep the trash can covered or tucked away.

6. Show Some Love

Amidst the excitement, don’t forget to spend some quality time with your pets. A quick game of fetch or a gentle cuddle session can reassure them that they’re not forgotten.

Image: Freepik

Remember, Thanksgiving is about expressing gratitude and love for all our family members, including our pets. With these tips, you can ensure a pet-safe Thanksgiving that everyone can enjoy. Happy Holidays!


Note: If you suspect your pet has ingested something harmful, contact your vet immediately.

Food and Drug Administration
American Veterinary Medical Association 



About the Author:
Wyatt Baggett is the Marketing Associate at Young-Williams Animal Center. With over five years of experience working with shelter pets and a passion for animal welfare, he enjoys creating informative content for pet parents. When he’s not working, Wyatt enjoys hanging out with his three rescue dogs, thrifting, and hunting down the best eats around Knoxville.