*Prevent access to countertops and table tops – some dogs and especially cats will jump up on to counters or pull thing off counters. This is so tempting to pets with the succulent smells of turkey and food. The pulling things off of a hot stove or hot items off of counters can cause severe burns. Hot burners can also cause tail and hair to catch on fire.
*Safely dispose of the turkey string and foil– the string that wraps or ties turkey's legs is often haphazardly placed aside and found and eaten by dogs and cats. The same danger exists with the plastic turkey wrapper. Ingestion of these indigestible items can require life-saving surgery. Place string, aluminum foil, and turkey wrappers in a secure covered trashcan. Larger dogs can open a closed trash can so it might be best to put the trash can in a closed room (like the laundry room) until you get the trash to the outside trash cans.
*Take care with the fireplace – many times Thanksgiving is the first of the winter fires. Be careful with fire starters and fire starter logs around large dogs. They are soaked in a flammable chemical so this can't be good for your dog to chew on or carry around.
*Be careful with table scraps and food – some dogs and cats deal well with table scraps and others get sick. Small breed dogs can be especially sensitive and develop a illness called pancreatitis. This is especially true with high fat meals. Don't feed your pet the skins to get rid of them. If you feed anything – offer small amounts of vegetables or meat. Many deserts contain chocolate, which pets don't need. Don't feed your pets chocolate. Don't give them extremely sweet or greasy foods so no leftover gravy. Do not feed them pieces of ham or any pork meats. Don't feed them anything that has onion or garlic in them, even if cooked. If you already have an overweight dog, have some raw carrots, apple slices, a green bean at a time from a can of green beans or teaspoons of plain canned pumpkin to give as treats while all the cooking smells of the season are in your home. They smell intensely, much more than we do. So you know if you smell all the good cooking smells, they do too but don't give them anything that is bad for them. Don't let guests give them anything that is bad for them. Dogs will beg. It's just their nature. But have a bowl of safe dog treats ready for guests to give and maybe even put a sign on the bowl that says, "Safe Dog Treats - Please Don't Feed The Dogs Anything Else".
*No Bones – bones can be dangerous to dogs. Don't feed your dog the bones. If you dispose of them in the trash – make sure the trash is secure from your pet. Bones can splinter and tear stomach or intestines.
*Special care with candles – this is a wonderful occasion to light some beautiful candles. Only do this where the candles are supervised. Never leave the house with a burning candle. And sometimes dogs are attracted to candles that smell like food so have it safely away from their reach.
*Beware of liquid potpourri – this is another item that is commonly used during the holidays to give the home a wonderful aroma. The liquid potpourri can be very caustic to the gums and throat if ingested. Spray or plug in air fresheners may be a safer alternative.
*In addition, prevent your pet's access to any fresh flowers. Some plants are poisonous to dogs like poinsettas.
*Wash all dog/cat bedding and vacuum like crazy. Doing this will also help clean, minimize the fur and make your home smell better.
*Before guests begin to arrive, someone in the family should take the dogs out and play with them and/or walk them so they can be nice and played out before the guests come. They may be calmer. Having a lot of people in the house will make some dogs and cats nervous and they may need to be kept in another room away from the people, especially when you sit down to eat. This gives them a rest, some peace and quiet and gives you and your guests time to eat in peace. Don't forget your dogs are in there and will need some potty breaks. Be sure the kitty litter box is in there and there is water.