Dog Lifestyle

7 Thanksgiving Traditions You Can Share with Your Dog

Thanksgiving is cloaked with tradition since the day in 1863 when Abraham Lincoln declared

Dog standing in forest of fall leaves wearing a black coat for thanksgiving tradition

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

Surely that tradition should include our dogs so here are some ideas and ways that you can share your existing traditions with your dog and include him in setting apart a day of Thanksgiving and Praise.  No more asking “what Thanksgiving traditions can I share with my dog?”

Thanksgiving Traditions to Share with Your Dog

Add your dog to existing Thanksgiving traditions or create new Thanksgiving traditions you can share with your dog with these ideas.

Watch the National Dog Show With Your Pup

The National Dog Show which actually is on November 20 will be televised on Thanksgiving Day with three hosts describing the wonderful world of dog showing and breed characteristics.  (If you are fascinated with dog showing learn more in Motherpuppin’ Adorable: What to do when your dog is better than everyone else’s our tongue-in-cheek guide to navigating life with your dog!)

This year three new breeds are being introduced including the Russian Toy, Bracco Italiano and the Mudi, check out these wonders, and share an existing or create a new Thanksgiving family tradition with your dog after reading our Ultimate Guide to the National Dog Show here.  

Take Your Dog on a Dog Friendly Turkey Trot

Our family loves our local turkey trot, not only do we get to go for a run to burn off that excess meal we are going to encounter, but the run supports the efforts of Martha’s Village Kitchen.  Many turkey trot races understand the importance of running with your pal.  Here is a list of California races that are dog friendly and here are some dog friendly turkey trot races throughout the United States.

Include your dog in your Thanksgiving turkey trot for the betterment of the community, you and your furry pal!

Woman in red running jacket and tights running with a small brown and white dog on a leash outside.
With proper preparation your dog can be a great running commpanion.

Don’t worry if your dog does not quite have the hang of running yet, here is a step-by-step guide to teaching your dog to run with you. This may be the start of something new for you and your furry friend.

Play a Thankful Game

Each family may have a special version of the Thankful game.  One fun version that could be adaptable to include dogs is to have everyone in the family write down what they are thankful for on a piece of paper, put it in a jar and then have fun guessing whose is whose.

How do you include the dog you ask?  Those with pets can also include a thankful item from their pets point of view.  My Great Pyrenees would say “I am thankful my pet parents rescued me this year and bought me some sheep so I can work hard” – then again that may be way to easy!

Great Pyrenees looking into the camera on a hiking trail surrounded by oak trees

Go for a Hike with Your Dog!

This seems to be our go to on guide for each holiday or changing season list since this is a staple in our life.  There are so many wonderful places to explore and what a great way to start a tradition or expand an existing one.

This tip usually tops the list for our furry pals.  See our list of 9 National Parks where your pet can accompany you to add to your thanksgiving traditions.

Special Thanksgiving Dog Treat

Many of the ingredients we use for Thanksgiving are dog friendly in and of themselves just not the way they are made for our Thanksgiving meals, however, adapting some and making something special for your dog to enjoy with you is easy!

You can add some gravy to his food, make some sweet potato air fryer treats, or air fryer turkey jerky.  Including your dog in a festive treat can be an easy and fun tradition.

dark haired women in holiday pajamas holding her dog dressed in holiday pajamas too for a thanksgiving tradition

Break out the Holiday Pajamas

Thanksgiving evening is a perfect time to break out the new Holiday pajamas and have a dance party.  Enjoy that tradition with pjs for your furry pal as well since we know the dance party part is no problem for your dog!

Include Your Dog in Thanksgiving Decorations

Each year I struggle with a sort of table theme for printable seating cards and such.  Include your dog in the fun by first getting a cartoon image created like this one on Etsy and then adding your dogs image to printables and cards for festive events like Thanksgiving.  This is always a fun way to add some brevity and a gentle reminder of who you are giving thanks to this season or make your own with your dog’s pawprint.

There are so many ways to include your dog in existing or new Thanksgiving traditions we hope you find one or more that suits you!

Remember dogs are a great way to combat the Holiday Blues and including your pet in traditions is a perfect way to celebrate.

Looking for more dog fun? Try our selection of Dog Quizzes, including dog trivia and more plus our list of Dog party games to up the ante on your next dog party and get those pups and pup lovers in a true pawty mood find more celebratory dog fun and party planning tips on our Dog Celebrations Page.