Published on: October 11, 2023
Author: Lauren Piandes

Thanksgiving is almost here, can you believe it? While we get ready for food, parties, and travelling, we need to keep our pets in mind! Here are the ways we can prepare ourselves and our pets for Thanksgiving:


First Things First:

The first thing to do before any holiday party, travel, or pet-sitting event is check your contact information is up-to-date in PetLink. You can login and edit your profile to make sure that you have a recent photo of your pet, updated phone number, and add additional contacts so you can be reached easily if your pet is lost.


Food For Thought:

All food should remain on the table, not near our pets. It may be surprising, but the consumption of turkey can cause pancreatitis in pets, which can be deadly. Here are other foods to keep away from pets this holiday season according to Pet Poison Helpline:


  • Alcohol
  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Caffeine
  • Cherries
  • Chocolate
  • Grapes
  • Hops
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Peach Pits
  • Green Potatoes
  • Xylitol (can be found in gum, sugar-free desserts, and some peanut butters)
  • Any moldy or old food


The best way to prevent any accidental pet poisoning is telling your friends and family to not give your pets any table food, no matter how much they beg!


Avoiding Décor Disasters:

  • Keep real festive plants to a minimum, as a lot of them (such as baby’s breath and amaryllis) are toxic to dogs and cats. You can view the full list of poison plants to avoid bringing into your home on ASPCA’s website: dog list & cat list.
  • Instead of real-flame candles, opt for fake ones! With no real flames you won’t have to worry about your pets knocking them over and causing a fire or burning themselves.
  • Keep ornamental foods like multi-colored corn or ribbons far out of your pet’s reach. If they are ingested, it could cause serious intestinal damage.


Party Precautions:

  • See advice in the First Thing’s First section about checking your contact information in PetLink prior to a holiday party!
  • Create a safe space for your pets to stay away from the guests and fallen food. This room may be your bedroom or a spare room away from the noise, and should contain the following:
    • Blankets and/or your pet’s bed
    • Their favorite toys
    • Water and food
    • A litter box (if applicable)
  • Make sure your pet is secured far away from the entrance area of your home. With guests coming in and out, they may use it as an opportunity to slip out.


Safety in Traveling:

Before any holiday travel with your pet, you may consider checking off the following things on your list of pre-travel preparations:

  • We’re starting to sound like a broken record BUT: see advice in the First Thing’s First section about checking your contact information in PetLink prior to traveling!
  • Some states or international borders may require a health certificate from a veterinarian for your pet to enter. When going to the vet to get your pet checked, you may also have them scan your pet’s chip to make sure it’s in proper working order.
  • When traveling by car, make sure your pet is safely secured in a cage or with a seatbelt. You can get a pet-specific seatbelt on the PetLink Store.
  • When traveling by air, consider speaking to your vet about what precautions you should take for your pet’s safety depending on their age, weight, and breed.
  • Here is a short travel checklist to review before traveling:
    • Your pet’s medications are packed
    • Your pet’s chip has been scanned
    • You and your pet’s information has been updated in
    • Your pet’s food and some extra water has been packed
    • Your pet’s favorite toys and blankets have been packed


With all of this in mind, we hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving and holiday season!