The Thanksgiving holiday is all about spending time with loved ones, and we often gather with family and friends who we don’t see as often as we’d like to. With all the excitement of visitors and preparing the big meal, it’s easy to overlook our four-legged friends. However, it’s important to remember a few key ways to ensure your dog enjoys the day, too, or at least that they stay safe. From using the best dog fence to keep them contained, to knowing how to recognize signs of stress, to making sure they don’t ingest anything dangerous, here are some simple ways you can make sure your dog stays safe on Thanksgiving.
Options For Traveling With or Without Your Dog
Thanksgiving is one of the busiest times of the year for traveling. If you’re joining the hoards of cars on the road and bringing your dog, be extra cautious. Your dog should be secured in the car with a special dog seat belt.
If you don’t have one, keep your dog in their crate, so they can’t jump into the driver’s lap unexpectedly. If your dog is trained to use a wireless dog fence, bring it with you to use during rest stops or at your destination, if it doesn’t have a yard with a fence.
Make sure you add items for your dog to your car’s emergency kit, too, such as an extra leash, food, water, toys, and a copy of their vaccination and health records.
Granted, the smartest alternative to keep your dog safe and stress-free is to hire a pet sitter. By doing this you reduce traveling stress and allow your dog to remain in a familiar environment without the risks associated to crowded boarding facilities.
Look Out for Dangers Around the House
If you are staying with friends or relatives, be on the lookout for potential hazards, especially if their home isn’t “dog-proof” already. Make sure your dog can’t access things like cleaning supplies or medications. If your dog likes to chew on electrical wires, hide or cover as many as you can, especially when placing light up decorations around your own home. Lit candles should always be on a high shelf. Also be aware that things like corn stalks and pumpkins can be hazardous if chewed by your dog, because large chunks can cause intestinal blockages.
Don’t Allow Your Dog in the Kitchen
The kitchen is actually the most dangerous place for your dog to be, especially during Thanksgiving. With all the activity going on to prepare the big feast, it’s much easier for your dog to get in the way, such as causing people to trip. Hot stoves, sharp knives, and boiling liquids are all very dangerous to everyone, so the best bet is to banish your dog from the kitchen entirely.
This might sound unconventional, but if you have a large opening into your kitchen, an indoor invisible dog fence works great to create a boundary for your dog. With an electronic dog fence, you don’t have to worry about stepping over a baby gate or other barrier. Or, keep your dog in a closed room or in their crate, especially during the most active cooking times.
Don’t Feed Your Dog Any Table Scraps
Not only should your dog stay out of the kitchen, they also shouldn’t be allowed to sample what you’re cooking. While it’s tempting to share the delicious food with your beloved dog, it’s better to get them their own special dog treats or cat treats. Most people don’t realize that fatty foods, especially turkey skin, can cause dogs to get pancreatitis.
Turkey bones also cause the most injuries during the Thanksgiving season, because they can pierce your dog’s stomach, intestines, or throat. Chocolate, alcohol, and xylitol are all poisonous to dogs. Onions can also make your dog sick. After the meal, take all trash outside to the big garbage bin so your dog can’t help themselves. Here is a great list of good and bad foods for your pets on Thanksgiving
Observe Your Dog for Signs They’re Stressed
Dogs can become very stressed out during holiday parties, because they’re usually not accustomed to so much noise and activity. The best thing to do is keep an eye on your dog throughout the celebration, and remove them to a quiet, dark room if they’re acting odd or unlike themselves.
Other signs of stress in dogs include cowering, hiding, shaking, panting, growling, jumping, pacing, raised fur, showing the whites of their eyes, and freezing up or backing away. If you put your dog in a closed room, just make sure they have plenty of water to drink.
Talk to Your Loved Ones About Dog Safety
Finally, it’s smart to briefly discuss safety precautions with anyone who will be around your dog. Remind everyone not to leave their plates or drinks unattended, and tell them not to give table scraps to your dog. Talk to young children about safely approaching your dog, and let them know that dogs don’t enjoy being hugged or kissed.
If your dog is wearing an e-collar for an electric dog fence, let your relatives know where the boundaries are so they don’t try to coax your dog to cross them, especially if it’s being used inside the home. Also ask your visitors to inform you if they notice your dog acting strangely or eating table food; the more eyes on your dog, the better.
While a lot of these tips are common sense and things dog owners already look out for on a regular basis, it never hurts to be reminded of them. When so much is going on already and everyone is enjoying themselves, the last thing you want is to have to deal with any unexpected incidents. Following these tips will help you avoid the vast majority of accidents and injuries, and your dog will make it through the holiday as happy and healthy as they were before. If you have any other tips for safety, please share. Happy Thanksgiving!
To learn more about safe dog containment options at a price everyone can afford visit Dog Fence DIY, our partner in dog containment education. This article has been sponsored by Dog Fence DIY.