Preparing Your Pet for Thanksgiving

Posted by Dawn Donaldson


Thanksgiving is a really fun holiday. Not only do you get to eat delicious food, but you also get to spend quality time with loved ones. Whether you're hosting Thanksgiving at your home or traveling to be with family members, we want to share some tips for ensuring your dog enjoys this day as well:

Preparing Your Dog to Host Thanksgiving

How you prepare for hosting guests during Thanksgiving will depend on your dog's personality. If your dog enjoys being around people, you may not need to do much to get your pet ready. But if your dog is generally only comfortable with people it knows well, you'll want to think about how you can create a positive environment for your pup.

Some dogs get anxious when new people enter their home. Other dogs are triggered by certain sounds like the doorbell. Being aware of a specific trigger like your doorbell and then politely letting your guests know not to ring it can help your pet a lot.

If any of your guests are going to stay with you for several days, find a time that you can supervise them interacting with your dog. This will help your pup feel at ease by knowing a guest is definitely welcome.

There are two other tips that will help your dog a lot. The first is ensuring your pet gets plenty of exercise. Going for some extra walks during the Thanksgiving holiday will prevent your dog from having excess energy. The other tip is to keep your dog from eating a bunch of table scraps. Sticking with your pet's normal food and treats will prevent digestive issues. 

Safely Traveling with Your Dog for Thanksgiving

Going on a Thanksgiving road trip with your dog can be a wonderful experience. To ensure your dog is safe on the road, be sure to bring along a crate or travel bag. This will also provide a secure space where your pet can comfortably sleep while you're staying at someone else's home.

Any road trip over a couple of hours should include at least one potty break, so be sure to give yourself extra time in your driving schedule. You'll also want to bring plenty of baggies to clean up after your dog during your time away. Bring water in your car, along with enough food to last the entire trip. It's also a good idea to bring along your dog's vaccination card.

Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season can make your schedule especially busy. If you need time to get things done and want to be sure that your dog isn't bored at home, our dog day care is an excellent option.

It always feels great to surprise someone with the perfect Christmas gift. In many movies, dogs are depicted as a Christmas gift that bring tons of joy and excitement to those who receive them. If you're thinking about surprising a friend or family member with a dog for Christmas, we highly advise against this plan. Although we love dogs and are firm believers that they can bring immense happiness to households, there are several important reasons why surprising someone with a dog for Christmas isn't the right approach to take.

Since we completely understand getting wrapped up in the excitement and emotion of the holiday season, we want to go over the specific reasons why this surprise rarely works out as expected despite seeming like a wonderful Christmas plan:

1. Dogs Should Be Adopted, Not Bought

There are millions of dogs in shelters across the United States. Because there are already so many dogs who need a home, dogs are something that should never be bought.  Unfortunately, far too many people are unaware of this issue and end up buying a dog from a puppy mill. This results in puppy mills continuing to operate despite caring far more about profit than the dogs they are breeding.

2. Having a Dog is a Big Responsibility

Dogs can bring a lot of joy into a home. But with that joy comes a lot of responsibility. Even if a dog is already potty trained, it’s still important to take a dog out several times a day. The daily responsibilities associated with having a dog are why this decision should never be made for someone as a Christmas surprise.

3. Kids Change Their Minds and Lose Interest All the Time

Kids are the most common recipients of dogs as Christmas gifts. While there’s no question that they’ll be very surprised and excited, kids have no trouble bouncing from one thing to the next. That’s why parents who think their kids will fully care for a dog on an ongoing basis often find themselves in a less than ideal situation within a few months or even weeks.

4. Taking Care of a Dog is An Ongoing Financial Obligation

In addition to the time involved in taking care of a dog, there’s also an ongoing financial obligation. It’s important that someone is ready to take on that obligation prior to committing to a dog. This point once again demonstrates why coming to this decision is something that an individual or family needs to do on their own instead of having it sprung on them as a surprise.

Once you take into account the four issues we covered above, it becomes clear why dogs don’t make good Christmas gifts. That being said, if you feel that your own family is ready to take on the responsibility of giving a dog a home, we encourage you to use some of the time you have off during this holiday season to visit an adoption center, animal shelter or humane society organization in the West Chester or Cincinnati, Ohio area. Taking this step will give you an opportunity to fully evaluate if you’re ready to start 2016 with a new addition to your family!