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Cats and Dogs, Quick Tips

Celebrating Thanksgiving With Your Pets

The Paw Print

Essential Pet Blog

Traditionally, Thanksgiving is a time to gather, feast, and celebrate with our closest friends and family. But when your family includes members of the four-legged variety, the celebration can get a little, dare we say, hairy. As pet-lovers, it’s no surprise that we want to include our furry friends in our holiday traditions, even though the logistics can be overwhelming. This is especially true if it’s your first holiday with your pet or if large gatherings have been difficult for your pet in the past.

With so many potential Turkey Day mishaps, it can be easy to feel discouraged about successfully including your pet. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Check out our tips for celebrating Thanksgiving with your pets.


If this is the first time your pet will meet some of your family, a proper introduction is in order! If your pet is confident and social, allow him or her to get in on the greeting. Make greetings calm and warm to set the tone for the gathering. If your pet is naturally skittish or excitable, starting your celebration off with too much commotion can be a recipe for disaster. A calming supplement can be helpful.

It’s also a good idea to fill others in on how to interact with your pet. For most of us, it goes without saying that our pets will not be partaking in anything on our Thanksgiving menu, but it’s important to make sure everyone else knows this also. We all know how tempting it can be to give in to those sweet, begging eyes, and for those who don’t have pets of their own, it can be especially hard for them to say no.

pug laying down with sad eyes

Pet-Friendly Activities

When boredom strikes, we can almost always guarantee that destruction will too. Our pets are resourceful creatures who will always find a way to occupy their time, even if it comes at the expense of your left shoe or your nice throw pillows. Keep your pet entertained and out of trouble by including them whenever possible, whether it means playing a game of fetch in the backyard or curling up on a lap to watch the football game.

dog running after ball

Meal Time Considerations

When it comes time for the main event (the meal, of course), you’ll want to make sure your pet is safe and content. Some pets are happy to curl up on their bed and nap while you eat while others might be plotting their grand turkey-heist. If your pet leans toward the latter, it might be a good idea to restrict their access to the kitchen and dinner table, whether that means kenneling them or placing them in a separate room. Feeling guilty about excluding Fluffy or Fido from your Thanksgiving meal? Whip up one of these Thanksgiving treats especially for them.

The holidays are the perfect time to bond and make memories with your family- including your pets. How do you celebrate the holidays with your four-legged friends? Do you have any tips for pet-friendly celebrations? Share them with us on our facebook page!

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