Pet Thanksgiving Safety Tips

Pet Thanksgiving Safety Tips



Pet Thanksgiving Safety Tips by Julie Gajewski


Fido & Fluffy are part of the family, always underfoot and table while the family gathers for the yearly Thanksgiving feast. You wouldn’t want it any other way! But keeping Fido & Fluffy safe and healthy during the celebration is just as important as achieving that perfectly cooked bird!


1) Leave the food to the two-legged kind! 

Numero uno on our list of Pet Thanksgiving Safety Tips is leaving the people food to the people. Humans have a hard time digesting the yummy offerings that Thanksgiving brings. The high fat content in most Thanksgiving feasts can prove to be deadly to your canine companion, by increasing the risk of pancreatitis which is inflammation of the pancreas. When working normally, the Pancreas produces enzymes that help digest food after it reaches the small intestine. But when a diet or food that is high in fat is consumed, it can cause the pancreas to become inflamed and release the enzymes too soon. Pancreatitis is a medical emergency! When the enzymes are released too soon, it can cause the pancreas to digest itself! In addition to pancreatitis, consuming people food can cause severe stomach upset with vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. No one wants a sick pet and a houseful of guests! High-fat content in our Turkey dinner is not the only concern. Bones from turkey and other poultry can cause your pet to choke and if swallowed may cause punctures in the intestines which could lead to another fatal illness, peritonitis. We also have to be careful that Fido doesn’t eat goodies for snacking like chocolate & nuts or celebratory alcoholic drinks. It is best to lay down the law and remind all guests and family members that Fido should not be given table scraps!


2) Remember Fido & Fluffy are not used to all these people in their home

Tip two on our list of Pet Thanksgiving Safety Tips is making your furry friends comfortable while strangers take over their castle. You may have a mild mannered dog or a relaxed feline friend, but their normal demeanor may change the moment your house is filled with family & friends. Keep your pet’s comfort and the safety of your guests in mind when planning a gathering. Tell children to keep their hands away from Fido’s face and to not pull his tail, ears or other areas. Do not leave children attended with your furry loved ones and most importantly lay the ground rules down before guests come over on how to interact with your pets. Let Fluffy hide in the closet where she feels safe until all guests have left the building. If Fido is not used to house guests start getting him accustomed to new people by having friends stop by more frequently. If having people other than his humans in your home is not Fido’s style, make sure you have a place for Fido to stay during the festivities or hire a professional pet sitter to watch and  attend to Fido during the festivities. The safety and comfort of your guests and your pets should always be a top priority!

3) Collars, ID Tags, and microchips are your friend

Tip three on our Pet Thanksgiving Safety Tips is to make sure your pets have identification. Holiday gatherings can mean an evolving door of people coming and going from your home. This leaves room for your pet to slip out the door as guests come inside. It also increases the chances of Grandpa Bill leaving the front door wide open when he leaves to take his after dinner walk. Accidents happen and it is always best to be prepared. Make sure Fluffy and Fido are wearing their collars with ID Tags attached. If you have not microchipped your pets, talk to your veterinarian about having it done before friends and family arrive. Most importantly, if you already have a microchip or ID tag make sure the information is up to date!

4) Keep the routine! 

Tip four on our Pet Thanksgiving Safety Tips is keeping your pet’s everyday routines the same. A houseful of guests can throw even the most routine person out of whack and that includes your pets. They live for their routine. Fido enjoys his 5 o’clock stroll. Fluffy likes her evening brushing routine. Fido’s dinner is usually served at 6 o’clock, so you can bet he will be ready to eat right on time even if you are not ready to feed him! Keeping those routines on track during the festivities will help lessen the stress and keep your furry friends happy.

5) Provide enrichment and activities to distract your furry friends

Tip five on ourPet Thanksgiving Safety Tips is keeping your pet busy. Giving Fido something to keep him busy while the humans eat is a great way to prevent him from catching table scraps before (or after) they hit the floor. Chew toys and Kongs filled with treats or peanut butter will also help take Fido’s mind off the extra people and noise in the home. Buy Fluffy some catnip or plug in some Feliway diffusers to help calm her during the holiday shenanigans. Allow them to indulge and enjoy themselves, just not on the people food! Just remember to let the tiny humans know that Fido’s & Fluffy toys are off limits!


Hope you enjoyed our Pet Thanksgiving Safety Tips! Have any other tips? Share your knowledge below! Be sure to visit us at!


Julie Gajewski is the owner of Fuzzy Friends Per Care, LLC in Brandon FL. Fuzzy Friends Pet Care is Brandon & Valrico’s preferred pet care service since 1997 and is the only PSI Certified Professional Pet Sitter in the Brandon & Valrico area! Fuzzy Friends provides cat sitting, pet sitting,  dog walking, & potty break services. In addition to pet sitting, Julie has been a Veterinary Technician and hospital administrator in the local area for 20 years. She also has been mentoring pet sitters across the world for over a decade. Most recently, Julie offers consulting services to pet sitters and dog walkers through her business Professional Pet Care Consulting.




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