Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and you may be thinking about meals, family, and eating your fill of delicious foods. It’s natural to want to share in the fun with our furry family members too, but the holiday table is fraught with high fat, salty foods that are not the best for our pets.
Feeding our pets traditional Thanksgiving foods like turkey bones, table scraps, gravy, and stuffing can cause GI upset – and worse. Any sudden change in diet and consuming fatty foods can cause a painful and potentially deadly condition called pancreatitis.
With that in mind, we decided to put together a list of ideas for Thanksgiving fun for pets – that don’t include food. After all, a healthy pet is one of the best things to be thankful for!
Food Free Fun
Here are some ideas for pet friendly fun on one of our most cherished holidays.
Take a hike – if you have a dog, there is nothing better than heading out for a hike on Thanksgiving morning. Once you get the turkey in the oven, you can hit the trail in the cool autumn weather, getting your dog’s ya-yas out, and getting some exercise yourself. Who knows, if the hike is heart pumping enough, he might even sleep through dinner!
Toss a ball – for ball crazy pups, a backyard game of fetch before or after the big meal (or both!) might be the ultimate in sharing the love.
Toy novelty – if you’re looking for a way to keep your dog occupied during the feasting, try a new toy that will keep him mentally and physically busy. A food puzzle or a frozen peanut butter Kong can be just the ticket to giving him something fun and new that will lessen the urge to beg at the table.
Feather-wand fun – for cats, a game of feather wand catch can be entertaining for them – and for you! Check out your cat’s athletic prowess as they leap and twist to catch this fun toy. Remember to act like “prey” to elicit their natural hunting behaviors and watch them relish the game even more.
Catnip joy – if you want to see your cat in pure bliss, buy some catnip or a catnip toy for them. Although not all cats are affected by catnip, if your cat is, it’s a great way to treat them without adding unnecessary calories and fat to their diet.
Extra snuggle time with you – whether you have a cat or a dog, your pet’s favorite thing is spending time with you. An extra snuggle on the couch, a special brushing session, or just spending time petting them can be a wonderful treat.
Thanksgiving Fun for Pets
Although it is human nature to want to share the Thanksgiving meal with your pet, remember that the best treats often have nothing to do with food. If you would like more ideas or have any questions regarding Thanksgiving fun for pets, please don’t hesitate to call us.
From the team at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital, Happy Thanksgiving!