slice of pie with whipped cream and ice creamI love dogs. And pie. The presence of both dogs and pie in my life are things I am definitely grateful for as Thanksgiving draws near.

Like many Americans, my Thanksgiving will be full of dogs and pie and a number of other food items that are definitely Not For Dogs (NFD for short). That makes this the perfect moment to discuss how to keep our dogs safe this Thanksgiving.

I have talked before about dogs at parties, but Thanksgiving has a few differences from other parties.

  1. Most of the guests are often family members. In my experience, family members can be some of the hardest to convince to follow your rules. So make your rules clear and explicit in advance. And make sure they are followed.
  2. Lots of food. Admittedly, a lot of parties have food, but Thanksgiving has some extra-delicious and very not-dog-safe food items. Like turkey bones. And pie. Not to mention, a lot of food that may be served in different places around the house. If you’re moving the party, make sure you move the food as well, or limit the dog’s access to any area with unattended food.
  3. Thanksgiving gatherings may last multiple days. Don’t just worry about Thanksgiving Day itself. If you have family or friends at your house over multiple days, make sure that all dog-safe rules are followed throughout the visit.
  4. Traveling with dogs. We’ll be taking Sirius with us when we go to spend time with our families this week. Keep in mind that travel and a strange environment can both be stressful for your dogs. Bring along a blanket, crate, or toys that will help your dog feel at home in the new environment.
  5. Cats need to be safe too. It’s not just dogs who need to be kept safe. Make sure you have safety rules in place for cats and other household pets, to make sure they aren’t exposed to unsafe foods or environments.

I love dogs. And pie. But not pie for dogs. Let’s keep it that way. Wishing you and yours a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

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