Holidays can be a bit stressful, but doggy-stress doesn't have to be part of it! Here are some things to remember this Thanksgiving.
Dogs love turkey too!
Feel free to let your pup sample small scraps of turkey (as long as he doesn't have any allergies!). However, make sure he doesn't get any of the fatty pieces; skin or fatty meat can cause pancreatitis in dogs. This can be very serious, leading to a trip to the ER or worse! If you find your dog vomiting, lethargic, and having diarrhea, keep a close eye on him and call your vet to rule out pancreatitis. Avoid giving your dog any bones, which can easily be swallowed or splintered. Other common "Thanksgiving" foods to watch out for: onions, chocolate, grapes, and raisins. Make sure to let your guests know that your pup shouldn't be fed any table food. If you know your pup is a counter-surfer, make sure to keep him out of the kitchen as you're preparing dinner this Thanksgiving!
If you're expecting some doggy friends, it's a good idea to introduce them to your dog outside the house on leashes. Some dogs are more protective of their homes but will be receptive to newcomers if met outside! If it seems that the dogs aren't getting along well, it may be less stressful for everyone to crate or separate the dogs. Sometimes dogs just don't "click," and that's okay! Make sure all dog owners know to keep an eye out on their fur kids during their visit, as pups can easily find fun new things to destroy in strange houses. It may be a good idea to invest in baby-gates if you are concerned about dogs roaming your house. It's also a good idea to make sure all dogs get some exercise prior to settling in the house. A nice walk around the neighborhood may keep them from unleashing their excess energy inside!
Kids and Dogs
Not all dogs love kids, and some kids are untrained with how to interact with dogs. To prevent unpleasant interactions, keep kids separated from dogs who are uncomfortable around them. If the dogs and kids seem to get along, GREAT! Just make sure to supervise their play, as kids aren't great at picking up on dogs' signals to "please back off now." After a few hours, even the most tolerant dogs may need a nap in their crate or a short child-free break.