Thanksgiving is a time to appreciate family and friends with a lavish celebration of food and wine together. However, do not forget about a smaller member of your family; your dog. Your dog may not be able to partake in all of the Thanksgiving festivities, but that is no reason not to include him or her in your day of thanks. Here are some ways to enjoy the day with your family and canine companion.
Have the family meet your pet
If your dog is new, Thanksgiving is an ideal time for everyone to meet your new addition. You can have people slowly come up and introduce themselves to your dog. They can spend quality time getting to know your dog and allowing him to bond with them. If there are small children, you can take turns having each child introduce themselves to the pet so that the pet is not overwhelmed.
Play with your dog in the yard
As the food is being prepared and cooked, this is an excellent time for the dog to receive some loving care and attention. Younger children can take turns playing fetch with your canine companion. They can use a chuckit or Frisbee to entice the dog into engaging in a fun session of fetch and return that results in laughter and joy. Also, indoor toys are another wonderful choice should you live in an area where lots of snow falls making it hard to access the yard. In this case, a chew toy or squeaky toy can bring out just as much laughter and fun for everyone involved.
Food is central to any Thanksgiving celebration. Most of the food being served is not suitable for canine consumption. Wine, sugary food, grapes, and chocolate are all dangerous to a dog’s health. Even if your puppy cannot eat the food being served there is no reason he cannot feast on some tasty treats. During the meal if your canine friend can be given a chewy canine snack so that he does not feel too left out. Encourage him to lie at your feet with his treat as everyone else enjoys the turkey. Very small amounts of human food may be ok if your dog has been trained to eat from the table. Should your dog be allowed some scraps it may be wise to feed your dog small bits of turkey after the main meal. This will reduce begging becoming a distraction.
Post meal activities
After your meal you may be feeling quite full and comfortable. This comfortable feeling may translate into sleepiness. If a nap is in order, curling up with a warm blanket and your pup after the meal is a very enjoyable activity for him and you. Should you wish to fight the post meal sleepiness, you and the family can go out on a nice walk around the neighborhood. During this walk you and your family can walk and and talk while giving your pet some nice exercise and social time with the family. If you happen along a park, why not give your dog a chance to run around and chase a ball. Or if you have a dog fence, you don’t have to worry about it.
If you have relatives in town, as they say goodbye, it may be a good idea for them to spend some parting moments with your dog. Your pup will now give them a warm goodbye as he has had time to gain some rapport with your relatives. This Thanksgiving, you can now share the thanks with your family and furry friend with these dog centered activities.