This Thanksgiving you’ll have a house full of guests for a tasty day of turkey, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie and football. On the guest list you have your beloved mother-in-law (who is driving 200 miles to your home with her famous homemade pumpkin cheesecake), your elderly, widowed neighbor (who is practically another grandma to your children), a few co-workers who couldn’t make it home for the holiday this year, plus your immediate family which likely includes your dogs who are looking forward to greeting your guests and, of course, their own turkey dinner.
While your mother-in-law adores your dogs, you are not sure about your neighbor or work friends. In order to make the holiday (and your home) as comfortable as possible for your guests, it’s important to find ways to include pets in the day while also making sure they don’t make your guests uneasy. Following these tips will help you make Thanksgiving fun for all of your guests—both two-legged and four-legged.
Not Everyone Loves Him Like You Do
One of the surefire ways to be a considerate dog owner and host is to know and understand that, although you love your dogs, not all of your guests will feel the same way. Don’t assume that everyone will welcome your dogs’ enthusiasm with equal feelings. Let your guests know that you have dogs ahead of time and ask if they are uneasy around dogs or have allergies. No matter what, keep a close eye on your dogs as guests arrive to make sure no furry friend has chosen a lap they weren’t invited to sit on.
Dogs Need a Time-Out
During the hustle and bustle, pets sense the excitement and get rambunctious. When you’re focused on cooking, it’s easy to forget that one of your pups has a tendency to grab food off the counter when no one is looking. In order to keep you, your guests and your dogs as comfortable as possible while the kitchen is in chaos, set up an area away from the party for the animals to go and play or sleep. If your dogs are crate trained, you might keep them in their crates until all of the cooking is done, or maybe just in your master bedroom with the door closed. If the weather is mild you could also keep your pooches outside for awhile, but if it’s snowy or rainy you might want to think twice so you don’t have to clean up muddy paw prints.
To make your table look pretty, a Thanksgiving centerpiece is always a nice touch. Just be careful to choose an arrangement that has a nice sturdy base—that way, if your dogs bump up against the table, you won’t have to worry about the vase tipping over and creating a lake in the middle of your gorgeous Thanksgiving dinner table. Online florist FTD has some lovely Thanksgiving arrangements that hold up against excited tail-wagging. Both the Fall Harvest Cornucopia and Bright Autumn Centerpiece are great options.
Thanksgiving Din for the Dogs
It’s only natural that you would want to make Thanksgiving special for your dogs too. Animal Planet suggests offering turkey-flavored bones and chews from the local pet store—not turkey bones from the bird you are serving your guests. Another idea from the ASPCA is to make Spot and Dot their very own Turkey dinner. The organization features pet-safe Thanksgiving recipes for your dogs, including pumpkin pie stuffing that is made from canned pumpkin, plain yogurt, cooked oatmeal and low fat graham crackers.
This year, give thanks without stressing over the dogs; as long as you’re all together and have your health, there’s so much to be thankful for!