Tis ‘the season for thank-yous! And what better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than adding dog-friendly activities into the mix? 

 

Because, yup, holiday traditions aren’t just for humans. With the holidays being such a whirlwind, it’s important to slow down and schedule bonding time with your best furry friend, too. 

 

Ready to start new Thanksgiving traditions with your dogs? Here are some fun, pup-friendly ways to do it. 

 

1. Sign up for a dog jog. 

Thanksgiving is a popular time for 5K runs (or longer). Research some pet-friendly races in advance and get registered. Start with your local YMCA and see if they have pet-friendly turkey trots planned. (Not a runner? Look for events that also feature 1-mile fun walks.)

 

Once you’ve registered for a race…next up, train! Use the time leading up to the run as a bonding session with your dog.

 

Even if it’s a just-for-fun challenge, both of you should get adequate exercise before the race. And why not take video snippets of the two of you training together, create a montage, and set it to the Rocky soundtrack? This could be viral Instagram content! 

 

On the day of the dog jog, be proud of your commitment and accomplishment — and be extra thankful for your cooperative canine companion who went along with your new holiday tradition. 

 

2. Go on a Thanksgiving morning hike with your dog.

If running a 5K isn’t your speed, slow things down. You can still spend some special time with your dog on Turkey Day by communing with nature. 

 

Plan a festive hike to show your dog thanks. And while you’re breathing in the fresh air, let your pet sniff around and jump in the fallen leaves.

 

Want others to join this dog-friendly activity? Make it a pack walk! Dogs that hike together stay together. 

 

Hiking with pets might not be as intense as a turkey trot, but even a short walk in the woods helps burn off a few extra calories before feasting on your Thanksgiving dinner. But, of course, it won’t hurt to bring healthy treats for you and your pets to enjoy during the hike! 

 

3. Host your own Puppy Bowl.

Thanksgiving Day is usually accompanied by watching football. Why not play a little, too? 

 

Send football-themed invites to your friends or family with pets who’d love to get in on the fun. Watch YouTube videos of past puppy bowls to familiarize yourself with how this dog-friendly activity usually plays out. Then prep for game day by ticking off these items on your must-have list: 

  • Festive decorations such as banners or balloons.
  • Mini football field and dog toys.
  • Yummy snacks for pets (and their humans).
  • Hydration station for the pup players.
  • Awards, prizes, and party favors for every puppy. 

 

You can also provide team bandanas or ask your guests to dress up their dogs in basic shirts or jerseys. 

 

Check the weather forecasts to know if you can have the football game outdoors. With ample yard space and pup-friendly attendees, you can make special memories by hosting a puppy bowl in your own backyard!

 

4. Let the dogs feast!

Your dog deserves a special meal on Thanksgiving, too! Just make sure their plate is dog-safe before letting them indulge. 

 

Classic Thanksgiving foods such as turkey meat, green beans, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin are usually safe to be shared with dogs. Double-check that they’re not cooked with ingredients that are not pet-friendly. Butter, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and other spices or seasonings are no-nos for your pup. Delicious desserts are always a treat as long as they’re non-chocolate and xylitol-free.

 

Then give them a special place next to the table to join in on the giving of thanks.

 

Finally, enjoy the rest of the holiday with a post-dinner movie and a cozy cuddle session with your dog and their full belly. 

 

You show your dog how grateful you are for them every day, but Thanksgiving is the perfect time to kick up the thankful meter just a notch! With these dog-friendly activities, your dog will surely gobble up all the fun of being included in your holiday traditions. 

 

Key Takeaways: 

  • It’s the season of thanks, so there are plenty of ways to incorporate your gratefulness for your pet! 
  • Research local jogs or walks planned for around Thanksgiving that are pet-friendly (local YMCAs are a great place to start.) 
  • Plan a Thanksgiving morning hike and take in some Fall scenes and fresh air. Invite other pet parents and dog friends to make it a pack hike! 
  • Host a Puppy Bowl in your own backyard– no foul play allowed! 
  • Check with your veterinarian to see which foods you can share with your dog at Thanksgiving dinner, and include them in your feast.