Be thankful for your family… and your dogs too.

I love Thanksgiving. Lots of friends, lots of food and time to relax. Two out of these three though are kind of stressful for the dogs. So, if you have family coming to your house for the holiday, here are a few tips that I use to keep the dog kids calm and quiet while we all enjoy dinner.

  • A tired dog is a good dog. There is always that lull when everything is in the oven waiting to finish cooking. Use that time to take the dogs for a brisk walk. Then when you sit down to eat, they will be tired and ready for a nap.
  • If you have a dog that is hard to control around guests, keep them on a leash. Let them drag the leash around and use it when necessary to get control of them.
  • Some dogs just do better crated. My mother’s dogs love their crate and much prefer taking a quiet nap in their den than wandering the house looking for a place to relax. If your dog likes their crate, use it. They’ll be happy and so will your guests.
  • Train your visitors. If you have people coming to your home, let them know in advance how to behave around your dogs so everyone is happy. I have one dog that loves to jump on new guests. So I always tell my guests to turn their back to her until she sits down. Also, no one should feed them from the table. And my old Baxter does not like kids. So I ask the children in the group to just ignore him.
  • Be very careful what you feed your dogs on Thanksgiving. An upset stomach or worse, ingested cooked turkey bones can turn the holiday into an emergency vet visit if you’re not careful. Mine get a little turkey with their dinner. But I stay away from anything with lots of salt or fats. Turkey is a huge treat for them so everyone is happy with that choice.

A house full of visitors and dogs doesn’t have to become a madhouse. A little pre-planning can make all the difference in the world.  Happy Thanksgiving and celebrate everything you have to be thankful for, including your fur kids!

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