Make it a healthy Thanksgiving for your dog

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Thanksgiving tips for dog owners.

Thanksgiving tips for dog owners.The scent of turkey will soon be wafting through my home and Fido will right with me waiting for his share of Thanksgiving bounty.

It’s so tempting to spoon turkey drippings over his food, or hold my tongue when soft-hearted guests slip a tidbit from their plates to him under the table. But nothing quells that thankful feeling like a sick dog or a race to the animal hospital to remove a trapped bone.

With just a smidgen of planning you can protect Fido and still enjoy your holidays. Here are our tips.

Platter chatter.

Food is the center piece of Thanksgiving — and it’s often where Fido gets in trouble.

Think of the onions in the stuffing, the raisins in the mincemeat pie or the fattiness of roasted turkey skin. You can give Fido holiday treats — just make sure they are the right ones. Try a dollop of plain pumpkin or sweet potato in his food.  Mix a little bit of skinless turkey meat with steamed or microwaved carrots, celery or chopped leafy greens like spinach or kale.

Remove temptation.

The scent of all those good things coming together in the kitchen can tempt even the saintliest dog into the path of mischief. Plastic or foil packaging can smell life food — and be eaten with disastrous results for Fido. Keep the trash dumped often.  Keep food pushed as far back front the edge of counters as possible. Or better yet keep Fido out of the kitchen entirely.

Mind those guests.

Guests, especially those without dog experience, can unwittingly be Fido’s foe. Unless you set down the rules firmly in advance, they may be the first to fall for Fido’s nose nudging under the table for treats. They may leave glasses of eggnog or wine or plates of appetizers on low tables where Fido can find them. Arrivals and departures are distracting times when Fido can make a getaway without notice. Assigning a “dog-spotter” to supervise or putting Fido in a crate or another room is a wise move.

Decor dangers.

The dazzling poinsettia by the hearth, the flickering candle arrangement on the coffee table are festive touches for the holidays — but they have a dark side for Fido. Sap from poinsettia plants as well as holly berries and leaves and mistletoe berries are dangerous for dogs. Candles where a dog can knock them over or sweep aside with a wagging tail are fire hazards.

Savoring the blessings.

The dangers that can happen, don’t have to happen if you give a little thought ahead of time to avoiding them. With just a little preparation, Thanksgiving can be peaceful, joyful and blessed.