Thanksgiving is only one week away – are you prepared? Have you purchased your turkey, made travel plans, distributed cooking duties, unpacked the decorations, and worked out the seating chart? There is clearly a lot of work to do, and chances are, the family dog is low on your list of concerns.

DogWatch Hidden Fences wants to make sure the family dog has a fun, safe Thanksgiving, too, without adding too many new tasks to your growing list of to-dos. Review our quick and easy list, and don’t forget to sit back, relax, and enjoy the holiday (after the meal is served, of course!)

1) Keep dogs out of the kitchen

The kitchen on Thanksgiving Day should be a no-dog-zone. These curious creatures can run into serious trouble during this busy day – including getting burned by a hot dish or cut by a knife slipping out of someone’s hand. No pet owner wants to see their dog hurt – – or to run the risk of having the dog get into something in the kitchen that was intended for your guests. Why not send the dog out for a walk or a game of fetch in the den with the kids? You will have one less thing to worry about as you cook the turkey and mash the potatoes.

2) Watch out for bones

dogs and cat beggingBones are perfect chew toys for dogs, right? NO! Even though Snoopy carries one in his mouth all the time, cooked bones are actually very dangerous for dogs.  These bones (especially turkey and chicken bones) are often brittle and can break and cause damage if digested.  Rather than hand off the turkey bone to Fido, give him a dog-friendly rawhide bone or bully stick.  He can now safely chew and enjoy this holiday treat.

3) Don’t overdo it with the table scraps

Just like us, dogs can go a little overboard with the yummy food on this feast-filled day. Keep an eye on the amount of people food your dog is consuming throughout the day.  Bits and pieces of boneless, cooked turkey, green beans and mashed potatoes are fine – too much can cause an upset stomach or diarrhea. To avoid this potential disaster, inform all the guests that Sparky will get his treats after dinner, not at the table!

4) Beware of the dessert

No, this is not a warning for you – you are free to enjoy as much dessert as you can manage! Just make sure your dog stays away. Desserts with chocolate are a definite no-no, even in small pieces. For all the bakers out there, do not let the dog sample the uncooked batter. And, while pumpkin is a healthy food for dogs, pumpkin pie often contains spices that may upset dogs’ stomachs. Instead, leave some fresh or canned pumpkin aside when you prepare the pie, and mix it in with the dog’s regular food. He’ll love it, and it is a good source of fiber and vitamins.

5) Don’t forget the leftovers!

Looking for a new way to get rid of the Thanksgiving leftovers? Make them into a special, healthy meal for your dog! We found this recipe from, featuring turkey, cranberries and sweet potatoes, and we can’t wait to try it.

We wish you and your family a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Photo by plasticrevolver via Flickr.