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Celebrating Thanksgiving With Your Dog

The Thanksgiving holiday is traditionally a time for families to gather together and enjoy each other’s company while partaking in a sumptuous feast. Although the day can be busy and hectic, don’t forget to include your furry family member.

If you have invited a lot of company, you may be tempted to put your dog in another room. While that may be okay for a short time while everyone gets settled, don’t leave your pup isolated all day. Dogs are social creatures, and they can become stressed if kept away from the fun and festivities.

Family Introductions

Is your dog meeting some of your family members or friends for the first time? Not all people know how to approach a dog they have never met. Depending on your dog’s age and personality, let your guests know the best way to approach him.

Children can run the gamut from being overly excited and possibly aggressive toward your dog to, at the other extreme, being fearful of him. Be prepared to put everyone at ease, including your dog, for a happy and mutually satisfying experience.

Dog-Friendly Activities

There are many ways to include your dog in the day’s activities. Are family members watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on television? This is the perfect opportunity for them to curl up with your pup, which will give him some quiet time on a lucky family member’s lap.

Are there active family members throwing the football around in the yard? Have a Nylabone Go! Active Oddball or Flying Disk on hand to toss around with your pooch so he can join in the fun. No matter what games you play with your dog, they will help rid him of excess energy. And a tired dog is a well-behaved dog.

Delectable Delights

Thanksgiving is also known as Turkey Day, and food plays a major part in the celebration. Let visiting family members know which human foods are inappropriate for your dog but also invite them to give him healthy treats or bits of kibble that you’ve put aside just for him.

The aroma wafting into the dining area from the kitchen can be just as enticing to your dog as it is to your guests. Guess who’s going to follow the scent? Safety can be a concern if your pup is underfoot while food is being prepared and brought to the dining table. This would be a good time for a family member not involved in kitchen duty to spend quality time with your pup: lap time, going for a walk, playing, or taking dog photos. Chances are, if your dog is the focus of someone’s attention, he will be too distracted to slip into the kitchen.

Welcome Distractions

Of course, if your pup is a chow hound, he may not be able to resist the sights and sounds of food being prepared or served. Entice him to stay put and out of the line of foot traffic by giving him a chew toy, which can entertain him before or during the Thanksgiving feast. Let him know that he is being a good dog and that the chew toy is his reward.

You can even give him a holiday-themed chew toy, such as the Nylabone Turkey & Cranberry–Flavored DuraChew, designed to be long lasting for powerful chewers. Get him Nylabone’s Dental Chew holiday two-pack, made for powerful chewers, and you’ll be ready for Christmas dinner too! This two-pack comes with a red Turkey & Cranberry–Flavored Dental Dinosaur and a green Peppermint–Flavored Dental Dinosaur.

Whether your dog dines at the same time that you do or another time altogether, you can make his dinner a special Thanksgiving feast by adding an extra treat.

After-Dinner Traditions

What is your family’s after-dinner tradition? Coffee and conversation? Viewing the big football game on television? Watching a Christmas classic like It’s a Wonderful Life? Hopefully your pup will be all tuckered out by now and ready for a nap, but if he isn’t, bring out a favorite toy that will keep him busy. Perhaps an interactive toy or a dental chew to counteract those extra treats.

Going for a walk with your dog after dinner can be a good way for both of you to burn off some of those holiday calories from earlier in the day. A morning walk with your pup on Black Friday can be a fun way to include him before you leave for shopping. Walking can also increase your own energy to face the crowds.

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