Holiday Dog Safety Checklist

We’re just a few days away from our Thanksgiving celebration and as we are gathering with family and friends, we must be mindful of our furry family members. The holidays present many dangers to dogs and cats.

The fine folks at PuppySpot provided me with a Holiday Dog Safety Checklist (see the graphic below) which highlights not only the the most common dangers, but some you may not have been aware. Please take a moment to look it over and be careful in keeping your animal companions safe this holiday season.

I can attest to the consequences of giving well-meaning “treats” to a dog. Several years ago, I came home from a Thanksgiving dinner with containers of yummy left-overs. I thought the dogs would appreciate a sampling of our Thanksgiving goodies and when I fed them that evening, I gave just a little spoonful of stuffing, mashed potatoes, turkey and a drizzle of gravy. Well, as you can imagine, they LOVED it! It made me so happy to see them really enjoying their special holiday meal.


That happiness was short-lived however, when my Maggie suddenly became ill the next day. She vomited all over the house and I took her to the vet right away where she was diagnosed with a moderately severe case of pancreatitis. That little spoonful of Thanksgiving dinner stuffs had way too much fat content for her system to handle and it threw her into that very dangerous condition. She was in the hospital on IV fluids for several days. What I thought would be a nice treat came at a very high cost, not only to sweet Maggie but to me as well. The vet bill was quite expensive.

I learned a hard lesson all those years ago. Ever since, I’ve been hyper-vigilant about the food and treats that I give my dogs. Don’t make the mistake of thinking “just a little bit won’t hurt them”. It could very well kill them.

This coming Thanksgiving weekend is the time when many start putting up their Christmas decorations. Be mindful of the ornaments that you hang on your tree, especially on the lower branches. Those dangling ornaments are very inviting to some animals. I highly recommend putting a gate around the tree so the dogs or cats can’t get to the ornaments. My Luca was quick on the draw last Christmas before I had a chance to get the gate around the base and he nabbed a glass ball off the tree and bit into it, shattering the glass shards in his mouth. Luckily he wasn’t injured but that could’ve turned out quite differently. Keep those glass ornaments up high and get that gate around the tree as soon as possible!

Thanks to Rachel at PuppySpot (who have a wonderful No Puppy Mill Promise) for providing this comprehensive Holiday Dog Safety Checklist. Please share with your animal-loving friends.

Holiday Safety Checklist for Dogs

Be careful, be safe and be smart!

Happy Thanksgiving to all…

12 thoughts on “Holiday Dog Safety Checklist

  1. This a great reminder for all pet owners. I’m sorry you had to go through such an ordeal with Maggie! May this serve as a cautionary tale for others. I’ll be sharing it, for sure. Garlic, onions and grapes are also bad. HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you and your lovely dogs, Michele. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Debbie! Yes, I hope sharing my story with Maggie will prevent some from the urge to share their Thanksgiving dinner with their beloved pets.
      Thanks for sharing my post! I appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, Michele!

    Boy oh boy, I wasn’t aware of how dangerous table scraps could be to our furry friends. Just like our mothers tend to kill us with kindness by associating huge portions of food with love, we need to remember not to deviate from a dog’s recommended diet and the quantity of food they are supposed to consume. Mrs. Shady and I plead guilty to preparing a Thanksgiving platter of turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes for our dog Toto every year (so that she wouldn’t feel left out). I can’t remember her ever getting ill afterward, but she did pack on weight. That put a strain on her little legs and knees and created problems for her later in life. The Christmas ornament tip is also very important. We never put a gate around our tree and, fortunately, Toto never expressed any interest in the ornaments, but there are some dogs that would pluck them off thinking they are play balls or chew toys.

    Thanks again for this urgent holiday reminder to pet owners, dear friend Michele, and happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, people food, ESPECIALLY Holiday foods, can be really dangerous to dogs. It’s the high fat content in all those rich foods. Just think of all the butter that goes into making the stuffing. And dark meat turkey is naturally fatty. So I hope this post helps people to think before indulging their beloved pets.
      You’re very fortunate that Toto didn’t get sick. My other dogs didn’t get sick when Maggie did but the vet explained that her fat content at the time was just high enough already and then the additional fat on top of that sent her into the pancreatic tailspin.
      And you imagine my horror when I found that Luca had bitten into a glass ornament? I was terrified that he had ingested glass shards and we were holding our breath for quite awhile until it was obvious that he was okay.

      Thanks for taking the time to come by and give my post a read. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Mrs Shady. Enjoy the day!


    • Thanks for reading it Lauren. Yep, all that rich food makes for a nasty digestion for our dogs. Some do fine with it. To me it’s just not worth it to take the chance.
      Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours…


  3. A good friend of mine, who has a pug, celebrated Thanksgiving and, without asking her, her sister in law gave her pug a huge portion of fatty juices. Her poor pug was sick for days and when she told her not to and why…her sis in law laughed it off. When one thinks of it….what about us eating all that fat??

    Liked by 1 person

    • How dare that woman laugh at your friend’s pug who fell ill. That just shows what kind of heart she has. I’m glad that the pug ended up being okay in the end.
      And to think of all the fat we’re ingesting on Thanksgiving day…and then all the leftovers for the rest of the weekend: Yikes!
      Thanks for coming by Birgit. Happy Thanksgiving…


  4. Thanks for sharing this Michele – I always pick up something new each year when I’m checking what bad for the furbies. I haven’t had a bad experience myself but the cat of one of my friends once ate quite a large piece of tinsel which caused all sorts of problems internally. We always do a walk round when decorating and make sure there’s nothing that we’ve missed that might be a danger. They’re too precious to us to risk it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a good habit to do a walk through once you’ve decorated. That tinsel can be some deadly stuff too, getting tangled around in the digestive tract. I hope your friend’s cat was fine in the end…
      Happy Thanksgiving to you and all your furbabies. 🙂


  5. Willy Dunne Wooters was worried about the dogs munching on ornaments from the Christmas tree. I showed him that nothing dangerous is within the reach of my pups. Harper taught me about doggy love for chewing up ornaments. Fortunately, he never chomped on anything that could hurt him, but I lost some ornaments I loved. Other than one bite of turkey (if I cook at home, which I’m not doing this year), I don’t give people food to the dogs. Your tips are important and spot on. I wish you a blessed Thanksgiving, Michele.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh thanks Janie! Happy Thanksgiving to you too…
      So sorry that you lost some beloved ornaments. I know how irreplaceable some of them are.
      Have a wonderful holiday weekend Janie. Many blessings to you and yours. XOXO


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