For all those celebrate, happy Thanksgiving! I know that Thanksgiving is tomorrow but this year, I’m incredibly grateful for all the animals in my life and that I get to spend so much time with them. The animals I care for have taught me a whole lot about life and love over the past few years. And I know that Rooster is especially thankful for naps and apples (his favorite food!). I’m also thankful for all those who are working towards finding homes for shelter animals, conservation work with native wildlife, and environmental justice.

For those with animals around this Thanksgiving, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure that everyone is safe, happy, and healthy! One is to make sure that you, your guests, and your pets understand the house rules and routines (i.e. that dogs aren’t allowed to jump on folks or not allowed to have table scraps). Also make sure that your dog has their collar and ID tags just in case they manage to slip out during the chaos and that the exits stay closed.

Another is to be careful with candles and festive decorations! I know more than a couple dogs that don’t know where they are in relation to other things and could easily knock over a lit candle and other dogs that like to put just about everything in their mouth. On a similar note, keep an eye on your pup or cat around hot surfaces if you’re cooking this year!

Also be careful of what your dog is eating and keep their diet simple today. Chocolate is an obvious no-no for all dogs but too much people food/table scraps could upset their stomachs as well. If you do give your pup some turkey, make sure that there are no bones or excess skin/fat. Any meat given to the pups should be well cooked and things like gravy, raw dough, and onions should be skipped. It’s okay if your pup has a bite or two of cooked onions but large amounts of onions, leeks, and scallions can lead to toxic anemia. And while cooking, make sure that any old food packaging should be thrown away in a secure trash or recycling can.

It can be so tempting to give your pet a treat or two today but it’s probably best that they don’t have too many treats! Those puppy eyes are hard to ignore and say no to during the meal but the best treats are ones that are easy for dogs to digest (i.e. plain, no dairy mashed potatoes, plain green beans, plain boneless and skinless turkey). Dogs’ stomachs aren’t like ours and they’re not able to digest the same kind of food we are.

The holidays can be chaotic and busy but in addition to making sure that everyone is safe and healthy, it’s important to have fun and be thankful! What are you thankful for this year? Let me know in the comments!

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