Justin Hartley/Instagram
Kelli Bender
November 22, 2017 11:07 AM

For This is Us fans it might be a natural reflex to pick up a box of tissues every time you see Justin Hartley, but we promise this is good news.

Just like the rest of us, the actor, 40, is preparing for Thanksgiving and the holiday season.

“I used to have a tradition where I would have all of my friends over to my house, sort of a Thanksgiving for the misplaced,” Hartley told PEOPLE about his early Turkey Days.

But now, as time has passed, many of those who used to surround Hartley’s friends-giving table have gotten married, including Hartley himself, who tied the knot with Chrishell Stause in late October.

“Last year my fiancée, now wife, and I went to New York for Thanksgiving, and now we are back this year,” the newlywed said of his plans for 2017. “We are thinking of making New York our parking spot for Thanksgiving.”

Joining the couple at this year’s Big Apple festivities are their two recently-adopted rescue dogs: 12-year-old Memphis and 6-year-old Gracie.

Hartley, already a dog dad pro, is focused on making his pets’ first Thanksgiving a stress-free one.

Justin Hartley/Instagram

“They are emotional creatures, they feel stress. When you are stressing out, they feel it,” Hartley said of his dog duo.

To keep any anxiety at bay, the This Is Us star plans to keep his pups to their normal routine, walking them and feeding them at the same time he normally does. He is also avoiding inviting large crowds of people over all at once, opting instead to introduce his pets to small groups of people at first, so the canines are comfortable.

Another stress buster Hartley is utilizing this Thanksgiving is Royal Canin‘s MyPetReference.com. The website, created by the pet nutrition company, is full of useful information on what common objects and foods can lead to severe gastrointestinal issues or other health problems (and a trip to the vet) for your pet.

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From the site, Hartley now knows that it isn’t safe to feed your dog turkey, often loaded with salt and bones, from the table. He also has created a back up veterinary plan for Gracie and Memphis, in case an issue does arise.

Can’t get enough of cats, dogs and other furry friends? Click here to get the cutest pet news and photos delivered directly to your inbox. 

“Your vet is probably on holiday hours as well, so it’s good to have a clinic you know you can go to in a time of need,” Hartley said.

Even with an emergency plan in place, Hartley expects it to be a drama-free Thanksgiving, especially when he is celebrating with two “professional sleepers”

“The rest of their lives is Boca Raton,” he said of his two rescue dogs. “I don’t expect much from them. I just want them to hang out and enjoy life.”

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