How To Celebrate Thanksgiving With Your Pet
Soon we’ll be seated around the table, counting our blessings with our friends and families. The turkey will be basted, the candles will be lit and the pumpkin pie’s dish will soon be empty. Thanksgiving is near and while many of our traditions will remain, like most of 2020, this year’s celebration may look quite different due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
One thing that is not different is that we are still thankful for friends, our family, and our pets. Yes… our pets! After all, they help us stay happy and healthy all year round. This year especially, pets have provided love and companionship to many pet owners who have had to self-isolate or are separated from family due to the pandemic. Because of this, we want to encourage you to make an extra effort to show them gratitude. They deserve it!
We thought about all the things you can do to celebrate and thank your pet. Here are our top 5 simple, yet extremely fun, ways to make Thanksgiving the PAW-FECT treat for your furry friend.
1. Thanksgiving Pet Treats? Yes please!!
Yum! Even we are drooling at the thought of this idea. This year, add a super tasty Thanksgiving pet treat to the menu.
Without a doubt, your pet’s soulful eyes will tempt you into giving them a taste of what’s on your table. However, you already know that’s a BIG no-no. Too much rich, fatty food, or even new, unfamiliar foods can upset a pet’s stomach–and even cause pancreatitis. Plus, those turkey bones can puncture their digestive tract. Ouch!
Instead, make their stomachs and hearts happy by creating a special dish using more pet-friendly Thanksgiving dinner ingredients.
We’ve also added Hallmark Channel’s DIY treat to the list. It's great whether you've got a dog or a cat.
BONUS: Make these recipes your own by giving them a unique name e.g., Tango’s Tasty Turkey Pie.
2. Phones Down! It’s time for undivided cuddles and petting
Life can get so busy sometimes that cuddling with your pet becomes a side thing: You’re typing away at the computer, Mr. Meowsy comes along seeking some attention, and a quick pat on the head seems to be the quick fix. Except, he's probably seeking a full 'love' session.
Give your pets the undivided attention they’ve been looking for on Thanksgiving Day (and every day 😊). It’s not just a nice thing to do but just like humans, physical touch is a primitive need for your furry comrade.
When you cuddle your pet, Oxytocin, the love hormone, is released in both you and your pet's brain! The result is a stronger bond and a calm mind for both of you.
We hope that’s enough evidence for you to grab the blankets and their favorite toy for an undistracted cuddling session on Thanksgiving Day!
3. Let’s Go for a Family Fun Walk with your Pet!
This isn’t just an ordinary walk in the park. We’re talking about lights, cameras, action, treats, and costumes. Take your pet for a fun walk and photoshoot!
Can you imagine the paw-struck Thanksgiving images you'll be able to reminisce on a couple of years from now?
Here’s how you can make it happen…
- Before you take your pet out for the walk, line the path with some of their favorite treats.
- Choose who will be the photographer in your family or even better, everyone can get in on the fun. You don’t need a fancy DSLR camera; a smartphone will do!
- If you’d like to capture the cutest memories, we recommend that you read PetCare Rx's, “Thanksgiving Pets101: The Cutest Ideas and Tips.”
- It’s time for the walk! As you walk along the path your pet will be surprised by the trail of treats he discovers on the way.
- With your phone, take photos of the entire experience and be sure to include each family member in the picture.
We understand that this may be best for the dog owners in our community; however, if you’re a cat lover, you can create a version of the fun walk indoors, or even try a walk outside with your cat on a leash – some cats love this as much as dogs.
We’d love to see your fun walk in action. Share your images on Instagram and tag us @bestlife4pets.
4. Watch the Dog Show – An Old Tradition or a New One?
After Macy’s annual Thanksgiving parade, you know what comes next… The National Dog Show – a holiday tradition that has been present in many homes since 1933!
Believe it or not, watching the event with your family’s pet can be an ideal activity to keep everyone smiling.
Did you know that both dogs and cats love to watch TV just as humans do? Famous dog behaviorist Caesar Milan shares that dogs love whatever we love to watch. In an interview with Quartz magazine, he mentions, “You have households that watch movies a lot and the dog becomes, you know, a Jumanji lover.”
And well, for your sweet felines… they’ll just enjoy spending time around you engaging in what you love doing. If this is already part of your family’s tradition – enjoy the show: if not, maybe start a new family tradition.
5. Make it stress-free!
We wouldn’t be BestLife4Pets if we didn’t mention how you can help your pet experience optimal levels of peace and safety on Thanksgiving day.
While we look forward to having our friends and family over for food and fun times, the reality is that gatherings can be a stressful event for our buddies. Trends have shown that many dogs get overwhelmed and anxious when their routine is disrupted and may even end up biting someone. The scenario isn’t any different for cats, who may react by hiding or the opposite - scratch and hiss.
You’ll need to be your pet’s best friend by supporting them through your Thanksgiving event. If they are whining, their ears are erect or lying flat, they are shivering or barking excessively, take some time to calm them down by using one or more of the great methods we mentioned in our blog, 5 Tips for Calming Down a Stressed Dog (even when you’re at home).
Another option is to use a natural pet calming spray, Thunder jacket or pheromone spray for pets to help keep your pup and kitty calm and anxiety free.
This holiday, be sure to take a little extra time with your pet. With a little creativity and imagination you can find many ways to enjoy Thanksgiving with your pet. After all, involving them in the family traditions, food, and fun is what it is all about.
After all, who are you more thankful for than your loyal companion?
Have a safe Thanksgiving from Viktoria and Tango!