Thanksgiving Food For Your Dog

Thanksgiving Food For Your Dog

It’s not just humans that overeat during the holidays. Some of us may also be a bit indulgent with our dogs. But it doesn’t have to be the turkey bones or other not-so-great items from the Thanksgiving or Christmas menu. There are healthier choices to share with your dog. From green beans to sweet potatoes, plenty of fall favorites can be tasty (and safe) options for your dog to share in small portions during holiday festivities.

It may be tempting to offer up the turkey bones to include your dog in your family’s celebratory feast. But, because they can potentially cause damage to your pet’s digestive tract, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends keeping them out of reach. However, though turkey bones are off the table, there’s no need for your pet to feel left out.

Safe and Healthy Foods To Feed Your Dogs at Thanksgiving

Below is a list of safe and satisfying foods that you can share with your dog this holiday season.


Almost everyone loves pumpkin this time of year. And it’s especially good for our pets. But, don’t make the mistake of thinking pumpkin pie filling is the same as fresh pumpkin. It’s not the same. If you want to give your dog a special Thanksgiving dessert treat, think of giving him some fresh, pureed, plain pumpkin. This can be done up in an ice cube tray and frozen or put into a Kong treat toy or put it on their plate as a side. Either way, they are sure to love it.

Sweet Potatoes  

Sweet potatoes are a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and beta-carotene,  Sweet potato treats can be as simple as a dehydrated sweet potato chew. Just remember not to give your pet sweet potatoes containing any added ingredients.


You get to enjoy both kinds of potatoes, and your dog can have that option, too. However, give only boiled or baked potatoes with no butter, sour cream, salt, or pepper, and serve in moderation.

Green beans

Green bean casserole may be a favorite at the table, but it’s not going to be that great for your dog’s digestive system. Most dogs actually enjoy green beans, just remember to make them plain. They make a great side for your dog’s Thanksgiving plate.

Plain Peas

Plain peas are a fine choice, but creamed peas should be avoided. Fattier food items like creamed peas may upset your dog’s stomach.

White Turkey Meat

For those that wonder if dogs can eat turkey at Thanksgiving, the answer is yes. The main dish is okay to offer up as long as it has not been prepared with any seasoning. In addition to avoiding bones, owners should skip out on feeding the skin as well. The outer layer of the poultry is likely to have been prepared with butter, spices, or other fatty ingredients that may cause pancreatitis or other issues for your dog.

Unsafe & Unhealthy Foods To Avoid at Thanksgiving

You may notice this list is longer than the one above filled with healthy options, and with good reason. Thanksgiving coincides with an uptick in emergency vet visits across the U.S., because of the extra, often unsafe “human” food that dogs end up consuming at this time of year. That doesn’t have to be the case for your pet if you prepare your dog’s menu by taking these proper precautions not to serve something potentially unhealthy, or worse, toxic.

Below are the items that should not be served to dogs at this year’s Thanksgiving feast, due to unsafe or unhealthy ingredients:

  • Turkey bones, skin, and gravy
  • Stuffing
  • Casseroles
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Creamed peas
  • Chocolate, cookies, pies, and sweets (especially anything containing xylitol)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Raisins and grapes
  • Onions, scallions, and garlic
  • Ham
  • Yeast dough
  • Fatty foods
  • Foods containing spices

If your pet gets into something that they shouldn’t, seek help right away. In the event of an emergency, contact the Pet Poison Helpline or your local vet which offers weekend and after-hours services.



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