Thanksgiving Safety Tips For Your Dog

Lindsey ZimmermanDog Holidays

dreamstime_m_5239761_2As the calendar turned over to November and daylight savings time ended, my thoughts quickly turned to the holidays. They are just around the corner … the mad rush is about to begin!

I remember one year when our spunky puppy managed to sneak into the garbage can after our Thanksgiving dinner and almost choked on a turkey bone. Another year our neighbor’s dog was happily munching on a poinsettia plant and became violently ill and had to be rushed to a 24 hour vet.

It made me realize that often in the rush of the holidays, with unfamiliar people over at the house, that dog safety can fly out the window. Here’s some tips to keep you and your pooch safe, so you can enjoy the holidays versus spending them in an emergency room!


  • As tempting as it is, be wary of giving your dog table scraps after the Thanksgiving feast. If you’re going to sneak him something, white turkey contains protein and is much better than dark meat. Make sure to remove the skin and bones (that could be brittle).
  • Raisins, grapes, onions, leeks and scallions may be loved by your guests, but not by your dog.
  • If your secret stuffing recipe contains sage, keep it away from your dog. Also, gravy is really bad, but you can substitute some turkey broth.
  • You know that box of chocolates someone bought for the hostess? A big no, no for your dog. That delicious cake your aunt made from scratch? Not healthy for your dog because it contains raw eggs.
  • Love serving Pillsbury crescent rolls? Raw bread dough, when ingested by a dog, can mix with his internal body heat and cause the dough to rise in his stomach. Yikes that’s a recipe for severe abdominal pain and bloating.
  • Potatoes aren’t too bad by themselves, but the butter, sour crème, and cheese you may add makes them off limits.
  • Serving wine or other alcohol with dinner? Dogs that ingest alcohol can become ill or weak and even suffer respiratory failure.
  • Burning some candles so the room smells like apple cinnamon or peppermint? Keep them away from end tables where a dog can easily knock them down.


  • Poinsettias, holly berries, mistletoe and Cedar Christmas trees are toxic to dogs. Also, dogs by nature are curious creatures … make sure the tree is well secured so it doesn’t topple over on them as they grab an ornament in their mouth as they run by. It will also prevent the stagnant water (that may have bacteria and antifreeze) from spilling over. Consider buying artificial Xmas plants. Also, forget about tinsel, popcorn strands, and other garland-like decorations that can cause serious internal injuries if ingested.

No White Christmas Snow Globes

  • While the more expensive snow globes are still made of glass, others can be found in chewable plastic with plastic bases. Chewed plastic shards from broken globes can be life-threatening. Many globes also add an anti-freeze-like substance to the water inside to slow the movement of the snow inside, so that’s double trouble!

A word of advice for both you and your dog … don’t overindulge or a stomach ache could spoil the holidays. At Help ‘Em Up™, we want you to have a holly, jolly time … no Grinches or Scrooges allowed.  We wish you a safe, healthy, a happy holiday to you, your pets and your family!