Thanksgiving With Your Pet



Thanksgiving with your pet

Thanksgiving is a time when we all stop and count our blessings. While we give thanks for our friends, family and great food, you can’t forget to give thanks for your pet. Make this Thanksgiving the best one yet with a few treats and safety tips for everyone to enjoy.

Part of what makes the traditional American Thanksgiving meal a delight is the amount of fat infused in each dish. Lets admit it. Fat makes things taste good. It is likely your pet would agree. However, foods high in fat could really aggravate an animals pancreas especially in pets who are already overweight. Gravy, turkey skin and drippings should all be avoided. Pancreatitis is an especially painful condition for animals where the pancreas is stimulated to produce large amounts of enzymes normally used to digest nutrients. When these amounts are increased, the enzymes can’t get out of the pancreas at the same rate it normally goes and so begins to leak into the abdomen. Keep an eye out of vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, weakness or discomfort as these are all symptoms of Pancreatitis and can be life threatening to your pet.

There is No Bones About It

Thanksgiving day bones are dangerous to your pet. It might be an adorable image to imagine your pet curdled up by the fire at the end of the evening with a good bone from the day but the reality is the bones of birds (such as turkeys) are far more brittle and will break into jagged shards. Those shards wreak havoc on your pets digestive tract. Avoid it all and treat your pet with a safe bone from the store instead.

After dinner, we all want to enjoy some dessert. While some of us may opt for pumpkin pie, others may prefer chocolate. Unfortunately, your pet should not be allowed the option. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is high in the toxin theobromine which can make pets sick and can even kill them.


Now you know what food you can’t give your pet, your pet is free to enjoy the day all within moderation. Once everyone is at the table, it is easy to lose track of who snuck what and how much to your pet under the table. So make sure you talk with your family before the day about how much your can give your pet.  Even the best food, had in large quantities can result in Pancreatitis.

If anyone believes in the five second rule, its your pet. Don’t let them take on the role of a four legged clean up crew. Clean as you go is not only a good rule of thumb while you’re cooking, it is an important rule for the day and for your pets safety. In the same way that it is easy to lose track of what your family has slipped your pet under the table, it is almost impossible to track what your pet has eaten off the floor. Reinforce good table manners and clean anything that makes it to the floor.

Make Time for Play!

Remember, Thanksgiving isn’t just about food, its about fun! Some animals could experience anxiety with so much socializing in the house. Relieve some of their stress with a game outside the whole family can enjoy. Throw the pigskin around and have your pet on your team. We can bet they’ll take the ball and run with it!…And might not give it back.

Now you can enjoy your Thanksgiving to the fullest with these simple guidelines. Enjoy a happy and healthy Thanksgiving this year with your whole family!

Photo Credit:

WagBrag’s co-founder, Russ Boles, has a deep history in animal rescue and welfare. For the past 12 years, Russ has served in various roles with Atlanta-based animal advocacy organizations focused on rescue, training and education. In addition, Russ led a local rescue volunteer team into New Orleans immediately after Hurricane Katrina, assisting in efforts to rescue and care for stranded animals. This experience changed his life, and animal rescue and advocacy will always be a part of everything he does.