BringFido's Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips

Posted by Jessica Roberts

Thanksgiving celebrations include family get-togethers, elaborate meals and overindulging ... with a large side of gratitude. With all the people, parties and pies (yay, pies!), the fourth Thursday in November can be a warm and blissful day for people and pups alike. Keep the feast worry-free this holiday season with these Thanksgiving safety tips for Fido.

Pet-Friendly Thanksgiving Precautions

"We're thankful we don't have to wear these hats much longer." Photo by @doggienanny

Getting together with family and friends is a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday, but no grateful gathering is complete without your furry companion by your side. When you bring Fido to Thanksgiving dinner, there are a few safety considerations to help keep all the party pups protected.

Comings and Goings

Holiday visits make the season special and stressful for both humans and hounds. All the coming and going adds excitement and nervous energy to the atmosphere, which leads some dogs to slip right out the door. Make sure Fido’s ID and microchip information are up to date, whether you’re traveling or hosting for the holidays. Also, educate your guests on how to interact with your pet in a way that makes him feel safe and secure. Make sure they know not to feed him foods he’s not allowed, no matter how cute he looks, and to keep their beverages out of reach of thirsty pup tongues.


The delicious smells emanating from hot ovens and stovetops are a recipe for a burnt snout or worse. Keep Fido away from the kitchen while cooking, and place the finished feast out of reach, covered and under watch. Even if your good boy has never even thought of climbing on the table before, a golden turkey, buttery rolls and savory gravy can be just too tempting for canines to resist.


At this time of year, holiday trimmings make an appearance that, while festive, can pose a problem for pooches. Seasonal plants like poinsettia, holly and mistletoe, along with their berries, are toxic if ingested. Even in small amounts, chewing these plants can cause gastric distress and vomiting, and side effects can be catastrophic. Pine needles and cones from fir trees and wreaths can also cause serious harm to a dog’s digestive system. Additionally, candles and holiday string lights could possibly burn or shock curious canines.

Even dogs who aren’t known chewers can be enticed by exotic new smells, so your best bet is to keep your holiday decorations out of paws’ reach entirely. When visiting other homes with your pooch during the holidays, keep a close watch on him.

Share the Turkey, Not the Pie

"Something smells grrrrrrreat." Photo by @butter_thedog

Getting stuffed with turkey and sides has become as much a part of Thanksgiving tradition as pumpkin pie. But while the excess of rich foods can be tough on a person’s digestive tract, it’s even harder on Fido’s. Worse, some of the favorites that adorn your table may contain ingredients that are actually poisonous to pets.

Not for Pups

  • Turkey bones are a no-go for chowhounds. Poultry bones can splinter, getting stuck in the throat or gums, or causing perforations in the gut. Nibbles of plain turkey in moderation are ok, just don’t feed Fido the skin, which is very fatty and can cause digestive upset and even pancreatitis.
  • Remember that anything in the onion family, including shallots, chives and garlic, contain compounds that can cause serious complications in a dog’s system.
  • Yeast doughs can cause bloating and stomach expansion, symptoms that land many dogs at the emergency vet on Thanksgiving.
  • Sorry pooches, no pies for you. Human desserts contain too much sugar. Chocolate is a well-known danger to dogs, but the artificial sweetener Xylitol, found in many baked goods, can be just as harmful.
  • Dairy products can upset your mutt’s digestive system and cause diarrhea--no one’s idea of a good holiday.

A Thanksgiving Feast Fit for Fido

If you want to show your gratitude by treating Fido to something a little special along with his kibble, there are some traditional fest foods that are healthy and delicious for him (in moderation, of course). You can pick up some fall-flavored dog goodies for the holiday, or whip up a canine feast of dog-friendly Thanksgiving Foods Fido will love.

Tips for a Pet-Friendly Thanksgiving Trip

"Hey Ma, are we there yet?" Photo by @kirbykendall

Whether you’re traveling by plane, train or automobile, if you’re heading home for the holidays or taking a vacation, going on a trip for Thanksgiving is a joyous feeling. But in all the excitement, safety can get left behind like Kevin McCallister. Taking just a few simple precautions can mean all the difference in your pet-friendly holiday travels.

Holiday travelers on two legs and four will need to take additional safety precautions when traveling this year. Pet-friendly hotel chains and vacation rentals around the world have implemented new plans and protocols for cleanliness, social distancing and prevention to protect all guests as much as possible. Be sure to follow CDC recommendations when traveling and keep Fido apart from anyone not in his regular bubble, as it appears that the virus can spread from people to animals in some situations. You don't want the whole family welcoming your pup with hugs if you're trying to socially distance.

In addition to familiarizing yourself with our tips for safe road trips with dogs and airline pet policies, it’s especially important to plan ahead during the peak holiday travel season. Make sure you are aware of weather conditions and be prepared for the unexpected. As always, BringFido is available to help during your travels. Visit our website or download our mobile app for iOS or Android to browse and book more than 250,000 hotels and vacation rentals, or call us and let us do the legwork for you. Our Canine Concierge team is here to help, even with those last-minute holiday travel emergencies.

Giving Thanks for Fido

Snuggled up with a thankful pup. Photo by @teddy.takesthecity

Above all, remember that the best way to show appreciation for your pooch this Thanksgiving is by giving him a little extra love and care. Take him for a surprise walk, visit an epic dog park, head off on a stunning fall hike together or plan a special pet-friendly trip. No matter how or where you celebrate, we wish you and your furry travel companion a happy and safe Thanksgiving filled with lots of treats and tail wags.

How do you plan to celebrate Thanksgiving with your pup? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

BringFido is committed to providing authentic dog-friendly content that our readers will love. We may at times receive compensation from our partners or use affiliate links to promote products and services featured on our blog. Banner photo by YinYang.