Rocky’s Viewpoint

Rockys Viewpoint

A blog for people who treat their dogs better than family

Rocky’s Thanksgiving Thoughts!

As we head into Thanksgiving week, it’s important to think about the safety of your dogs. It’s actually always important to think about their safety, but holidays can be a very exciting and busy time, so there are additional things to be mindful of when it comes to your furry loves.

If you are hosting a crowd this year, keep in mind how the excitement of guests will affect your pup. Most dogs are social and enjoy company, but the sights, sounds, and smells of visitors- some of whom could be complete strangers- could be too much for them. A few simple steps to prepare can go a long way towards a smoother holiday. We can’t help with the family drama, though!


What To Do: 

One of the best things you can do to ensure a good holiday for your pup is to prepare a safe space where your he can go and relax during the festivities. Make it very comfortable and away from the crowd. Bring out some of his favorite toys and treats. You basically want to make this a safe haven that your pup can retreat to when they’ve had enough. You may want to make this space your bedroom, so you can join them when you’ve also had enough!

If your guests have small children, make sure to ask their parents to watch them closely so that your dog’s ears and tail aren’t being pulled every which way. You also want to ask everyone in attendance to not feed your dog table scraps. This may be one of the most difficult tasks of the day, as the smells will have your dog’s begging at an all-time high. Even though it will be hard to resist incredibly cute puppy eyes resting on their knees, pleading for food- please stress the importance of this request to your guests and explain to them that your pup will get some Thanksgiving treats, but that you’d like to monitor what treats they get.

Speaking of treats…what exactly can your dog eat on Thanksgiving? It’s ok to give your dog some plain (unseasoned) turkey, with no skin. Keep it to a small amount, especially if you’re giving them other treats and you don’t know if it will agree with his belly. Dogs can be hypersensitive to new foods, especially protein, so it’s best to err on the side of caution. It’s also ok to give him some plain cooked sweet potatoes- you know, the ones BEFORE all the sugar, marshmallows, pecans, and butter go on top. Sweet potatoes are very healthy when given plain, and dogs actually love them! Pumpkin is also an approved Thanksgiving treat for dogs, but make sure it’s plain pumpkin- not the “pumpkin pie” mix in a can. It’s actually a good idea to keep plain pumpkin (organic if you can) on hand for your pup, as it’s easy on the belly and can be used whenever they’re not feeling well. It’s also ok to give your dog some of the salad fixings, like cucumbers or carrots. In addition to being healthy, they have just the right amount of crunch that dogs love- plus it’s really fun to watch your pup eat them.


What Not To Do:

What are some things that you should AVOID giving your dog during the holiday? Stuffing is a no-no. Bread itself isn’t bad, but there are often ingredients in stuffing like onions & raisins that can be very dangerous for your pup. Since it can be an unknown, it’s better to just skip it altogether. Gravy falls into this same category. Many gravy recipes- even the canned or powdered stuff, have onion powder in them. And cornstarch. And a bunch of other fake filler ingredients that could be bothersome to his system. Chocolate is also on the NO list as it is also very dangerous for dogs. In fact, any and all sweets should be a no, especially if you don’t know the ingredient list. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is often found in desserts and is lethal for pups, and since we sometimes don’t know the entire ingredient list, it’s better to skip it altogether. While this list of no-no foods sounds limiting, your pup won’t even miss the sweets if they get some yummy turkey and sweet potatoes. And you certainly won’t miss the trip to the Pet ER!


If your dog is exceptional at begging, super barky, doesn’t like new people, or generally gets upset or anxious when there’s a lot going on, you may want to consider dog boarding for the holiday. This will give you the peace of mind knowing they’re safe and comfortable, and you don’t have to worry about any of the above. It’s even better if you take them to a place that they already know and are comfortable with, so that they feels like they’re getting their own vacation!


We have quite a few regulars boarding with us at Rocky’s Retreat this Thanksgiving holiday, and we’re super thankful that their parents have trusted us with their care.