Thanksgiving Holiday Pet Safety Tips: What You Should Know

The Thanksgiving holiday is a time for family, friends, and, of course, food. Lots and lots of food! But it’s also a time to think about keeping our pets safe, specifically regarding these questions:

  • Which Thanksgiving foods present health hazards for pets?
  • Socializing: Are your pets comfortable and happy in a house crowded with guests?
  • Travel: Whether you’re traveling with a pet or need to board them, what are some things to think about to make it a pet-friendly experience?

The main issue over the Thanksgiving holiday, however, is food. Pet owners need to be extra careful about what kinds of food their furry (or not-so-furry) friends have access to. Some common holiday foods can be dangerous or even deadly for pets.

Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips

We really shouldn’t be feeding pets any of the food on our plates. This includes fatty foods, even small amounts of artificial sweeteners (beware of “sugar-free” foods), and foods, such as turkey bones, that present a choking hazard.

But here are some of the more common food hazards for pets on Thanksgiving. They can affect your pet’s digestive tract, cause vomiting and diarrhea, and may be life-threatening.

Let WellHaven know if you have any questions.

Turkey Meat and Turkey Skin

One of the most dangerous things for pets during the holidays is turkey. Pets can suffer from pancreatitis if they eat too much fat from the turkey skin or stuffing.


Chocolate is another common holiday food that can be dangerous for pets. Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats. No amount of chocolate is safe for these animals.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are another holiday food that can be harmful to pets. They can cause lethargy, paralysis, vomiting, ataxia, and much worse.


Last but not least on our list of dangerous holiday foods for pets is alcohol. Pets should never consume alcohol, so make sure not to leave your alcoholic beverages unattended when pets are around. Make sure your guests are aware of this, too.

Pet Socializing Safety on Thanksgiving

Unlike food hazards, which can affect all household pets, safety issues regarding pets — and, of course, humans! — in a crowded holiday house depend in no small part on the temperament of the pet. The key is to be mindful of how your pets are with and around people. Make sure they have a safe, private space they can retreat to if they feel anxious.

Pet Travel Safety on Thanksgiving

If you’re traveling with your pet, make sure you will be able to attend to all their health needs, if any, while you are away from home. This includes any medications or nutritional requirements.

Be sure to check with your airline about pet travel rules and regulations, too.

Finally, be sure to find out about the pet rules where you’ll be staying. Will you need to provide a health certificate or proof of vaccination or a flea bath to check in with your pet? If you’re boarding your pet while you’re away, you’ll likely need all of the above.

As always, get in touch with WellHaven with any questions or concerns.

We hope you have a happy, peaceful, and bountiful Thanksgiving.