Pet Tables Are The New Kids Tables—Will You Have One This Year?

pets thanksgiving
The Pets Table Is The Star Of Our ThanksgivingFotostorm / E+ / Getty Images, JasonOndreicka / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

We've all been there—you're too young to sit at the adults table, so you eat Thanksgiving with all the kids. The kids table is a staple at nearly every holiday gathering. But as Millennials and Gen Z-ers start hosting their own Thanksgivings, there's less need for a kids table.

Studies show that over half of all people in the younger generations would rather own a pet than be a parent. And sure, our fur babies can't eat many of our favorite Thanksgiving dishes, but that doesn't mean they can't partake in one of the country's greatest food holidays.

"So many people treat their dogs and pets as their own children," says pets table proponent Jeremy Scheck, also known as TikTok cooking star @scheckeats. "It's nice to feel like they're included in our own celebrations."

To set up your own pets table, decor is the first step to get your dogs and cats in the holiday spirit. And, just like with kids, safety is key. Make sure to swap out your taper and votive candles for something more pet-friendly, like battery-powered LED candles. It'll have the same moody effect, just without flames and cords for your pets to mess with.

You can also decorate the table with linen placemats and table runners in warm autumnal colors—but you should anticipate having to clean messes. The remaining decorations should all be nontoxic, for obvious reasons. Utilizing gourds, apples, and edible plants like sage and chamomile flowers are a great way to create a Thanksgiving centerpiece that poses no threat should a pet decide to snack on it.

Using organic matter to decorate the pets table also offers some entertainment. "My dog, Maude, is a mix of mostly scenthounds. She likes to have a variety of things to smell," says Scheck. "As long as it's all safe for the dogs, it's a fun addition to the table."

Of course, it wouldn't be a Thanksgiving table without food. For Scheck, swapping out their normal meal is a small change that'll make pets feel special. "Because turkey is the hallmark of Thanksgiving, I use Wellness Bowl Boosters Freshly in the Turkey and Sweet Potatoes recipe. It's like a dog-friendly version of roast turkey and sweet potato casserole," he says.

Even if you like to sneak a bite of human food to your dog under the table, you should do it sparingly. Foods high in salt pose a health risk to your pets if eaten in large quantities. Instead, pick up some special pet food for the big day. The Wellness Bowl Boosters also offer Chicken and Butternut Squash and Beef and Carrot varieties, so you can build their menu based on whatever dinner you may be making this Thanksgiving.

You can also get crafty and make your own dinner for your pets. Why not follow our steps to build your own "barkuterie" board with fresh fruits, vegetables, and your dog's favorite treats? And instead of pumpkin pie, you can bake up a pet-friendly homemade cake.

Are you planning on setting up a pets table this Thanksgiving? Let us know in the comments!

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