There are so many ways that having a dog has improved my life: I never have to sleep alone. It's his job to be my best friend. I don't need to vacuum under the kitchen table. I always have a set of eyes and ears on the ground. I always have a reason to get out of bed. His needs force me to be active. I have no need for a doorbell. And most importantly, he teaches me responsibility.
But responsibility is a double-edged sword. Sometimes, having to be responsible for his well-being is stressful and frustrating. When it's just the two of us, it's easy to care for him by controlling his environment. Come holiday season, my responsibilities become a bit more difficult; we're either on the go or people are in our home. Throughout the holiday season, our once controlled environment and routine is no more.
However, holidays with dogs are totally manageable. It's just a matter of knowing what can be harmful to your pup and how to avoid it. And even if you don't have a dog, it's important to be aware of what's can be harmful to dogs so that you can be sure that you're not a contributor to a hazardous situation. Here are seven things you can do to keep your dog safe this Thanksgiving.
Keep your dog out of the kitchen
This will be hard to do, but keeping your dog away from the kitchen, especially while you're cooking, is important. There are so many dangerous things that can happen while cooking a feast, you don't need to subject your dog to the risk.
Thanksgiving bones are not for dogs. There's a lot of confusion around what kinds of bones you can give to a dog. Here's there rule of thumb: Baked, Broiled, Barbecued = not safe for dogs. The heat dries out the bone and makes it prone to splintering, which can be deadly when ingested by dogs. Make sure all the bones from your turkey are accounted for and toss them in a sealed garbage bag out of reach from your pup. Make sure to remind your guests not to share their bones, too.
No table scraps
Let your guests know not to share any food with your dog. And if your pup is a beggar, keep him out of the dining area while the food is out. It's not just about spoiling your dog, it's about keeping him safe. Foods that don't seem dangerous like grapes, raisins, tomatoes, onions, garlic and dough are actually really poisonous for dogs.
Take the trash out
Chances are you're going to have a ton of garbage at the end of the night. Don't leave a massive garbage bag unattended to. Take the trash out as you go throughout the night. You better believe your pup is going to dig into a garbage bag filled with meat scraps, no matter how well behaved you might think she is.
Don't leave your dog alone with new people
Make sure that you check in periodically with your dog. You never know how they might react to new people, and you don't want to burden your guests with the responsibility of looking after your dog.
Give your dog a safe space
Make sure you put aside a small space for your dog to get away from the commotion. Whether it's in a room that you're not using or a crate, make sure your dog has access to a quiet space with her things and some water.
Water, water, water
The mix of excitement and anxiety is going to make your pup very thirsty. He'll need more water than usual on Thanksgiving so make sure you're keeping an eye on the water level of his dish. Feel free to throw some ice cubes into the bowl, too.