Thanksgiving is almost here. Are you thinking of all the family you will have over and the food you will eat? Yes, Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for family to get together and share a meal, but what about your dog? Dogs don’t understand holidays, and it can be very stressing. Also, your pet’s health is at risk during this fun holiday.
For some dogs, especially senior dogs, having many people over can be very upsetting and confusing. If your dog shows signs of becoming stressed, leave him alone in a nice quiet room or in his cage so he can rest. Give him a toy to keep him company.
Caution! You will be greatly tempted to feed your dog one of those juicy turkey bones this Thanksgiving. But resist! Feeding your dog one of those bones could endanger his life. Bones from turkeys or any other kind of meat easily break into small pieces. These can quickly become lodged in your dog’s throat, causing him to choke. This could lead to an emergency trip to the vet or even death. Never put your dog at such a risk! Feed him a safe dog biscuit instead.
It is very easy to forget your dog during a fun holiday like Thanksgiving. We easily become underfoot and get stepped on. Ouch! Make sure your dog gets all of the attention he needs and, if he is underfoot, he might be better off in his cage.
Some dogs get very excited when company arrives. They wait eagerly by the window or run outside to greet the guests. Dogs love people so much that we want to give them kisses. However, dogs are a lot shorter than humans, so we have to jump. And with our jumps, we scratch people, tear clothes, and scare small children. We don’t mean to be bad, we are just so happy to see you! Teach your dog the command “off” to help him keep all four paws on the ground. When your dog jumps up on anyone, even you, tell him, “Off!” and help him put all paws on the floor. Don’t ever push or hit your dog. You could easily hurt him, even if he is a big dog. Always help him gently. When your dog is on the ground, tell him how good he is. Another way to fix your problem is to tell your dog to sit or to put his leash on when company arrives. If your dog has a solid sit, there should be no jumping problems. And, on a leash, your dog will know that you want him to stick by you and not jump. Here’s a tip: always use the command “off” when you want your dog off the couch, off a person, etc. Use the command “down” when you want your dog to lay down.
Try to take your dog for a long walk before the company arrives. This way he will be tired when the guests arrive and willing to lay down and sleep. Also, if you have anyone over who doesn’t like dogs and is uncomfortable around them, respect his or her feelings by putting your dog in his crate.
I know all of the Thanksgiving food is delicious, but don’t feed your dog any table scraps. Dogs cannot handle the food humans eat, and our tummies hurt and we can even throw up. Also, your dog could develop life-threatening pancreatitis. Pancreatitis inflames the pancreas and causes terrible pain and nausea for your dog. Your guests will probably be tempted to feed your dog some scraps – just look at those pleading eyes! But tell your guests that your dog cannot have any scraps, and set out a bowl of your dog’s normal dog biscuits, so everyone can give those to your dog.
Have a fun and safe Thanksgiving with your dog!