Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday for so many people across America. We love it, too! Amazing food PLUS time with family and friends celebrating and reminiscing over all the good that’s happened during the past year. For this Thanksgiving, we have some ideas for including your pup in the festivities as well… because dogs are family too!

1. Introduce your family to your dog

If your family and friends haven’t met your dog yet, it’s important to brief them on his doggy disposition so they know what to expect. If fellow humans are not used to being around dogs, they may be nervous meeting him. This is especially true for children. Sometimes, kids are excitable and accidentally aggressive around dogs (watch out for ear pulling!). Kids may also be afraid of dogs, even more so if you have a big dog or a dog that’s very vocal.

Be sure your guests understand how your dog behaves AND how they should behave around your dog. If there’s something unique that makes your dog tick or certain actions that can set off a negative reaction, be sure to let them know. This will help both your dog and your guests feel more at ease. 

2. Be ready for doorbells

If the doorbell tends to excite your dog more than other noises, let your guests know ahead of time. It’s best not to have the dog tearing around the house in a frenzy right before guests walk in the door! Plan ahead, and request that guests knock when they arrive. Even keeping the dog away from the door (in another room or outside) when guests are first arriving may help tame the potential chaos.

3. Plan dog-friendly activities

You probably have your favorite family traditions, and now you can think of ways to include your dog in those fun past-times. If you traditionally have a game of backyard football, bring the dog outside for some sideline fetch. Take him out for a walk with your guests. Watch the holiday parade together. There’s a lot of fun to be had outside the crate during the holidays!

4. Create a special dog meal

If you want to give your dogs their own special Thanksgiving meal, there are some great recipes online! A classic Turkey Day treat is a mixture of green beans, cranberries, and turkey — all foods that are just fine (and healthy) for your dog to indulge in.

5. Don't overfeed your dog

Yes, pooch can eat many of the human foods served on Thanksgiving, but they can’t indulge in food the way a human typically does on this holiday. No food comas for pups! Too much human food could give your dog a stomach ache, diarrhea, or (worse comes to worse) pancreatitis. Be sure that you know how much your is eating (especially if guests are also allowed to give him scraps) and monitor that food consumption for a happy, healthy doggo. 

Have a wonderful, safe holiday with your dogs. Happy Thanksgiving!