Thanksgiving Eats for Your Dog: A Guide to Safe and Unsafe Foods for Dogs

There are so many things to be thankful for. Dogs are one, and food is another! As the smells of Thanksgiving dinner fill the air, it’s only natural to want to share the bounty with your best pal. In our house, Lewie is a pumpkin fiend and Mo loves crisp turkey skin (who doesn’t???). There are so many yummy things to share but it’s important to know what is dog-friendly and what is not.

Some human food is as healthy for dogs as it is for humans but other foods can spell trouble for dogs, leading to stomach issues, sickness, or even, in extreme cases, organ failure. To ensure your pup partakes in the Thanksgiving revelry safely, here's a quick guide to dog-friendly and off-limits Thanksgiving foods…Lewie and Mo approved!

Dog-Approved Thanksgiving Eats:

  1. Turkey: Plain, cooked turkey meat is a solid protein source safe for dogs. You may want to skip the skin, gravy, or stuffing – they can be too rich and cause tummy troubles. *A side note: we only give Mo a little taste of skin with his turkey.
  2. Sweet Potatoes: Nutrient-packed sweet potatoes are a healthy dog treat. Stick to plain, cooked ones and skip the butter, spices, or sweeteners. This means you may want to put a few sweet potatoes aside prior to completing that special family recipe.
  3. Pumpkin: Fiber-rich pumpkin aids digestion. Again, put some aside before mixing in other ingredients and offer plain, cooked pumpkin or canned pumpkin puree without added spices or sweeteners. We usually drop a few heaping tablespoons in Mo and Lew’s bowls.
  4. Green Beans: Low-calorie, low-fat green beans make a dog-friendly snack. Steam or boil them until tender, and serve plain or with a touch of olive oil. Honestly, Mo hates all vegetables…unless they are cooked in a little olive oil with a dash of salt!
  5. Apples: Fiber and vitamin-rich apples can be a teeth-cleaning treat. Remove seeds and core before sharing. For an added treat, spread a little all-natural peanut butter on apple slices.

No-Go Zone for Dogs:

  1. Onions and Garlic: These can be toxic to dogs. Steer clear of onion or garlic-laden foods like casseroles, garlic bread, and stuffing that contain these ingredients.
  2. Chocolate: Most everyone knows that even small amounts can be toxic to dogs, causing vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, and seizures. And, it’s not that people are giving their dogs chocolate, but that dogs are able to get to things containing chocolate off of a counter or coffee table (cakes, brownies, candy). Just make sure all chocolate is kept at a safe distance and tell Aunt Jean to keep an eye on her dessert plate!
  3. Grapes and Raisins: These can lead to kidney failure in dogs, so keep them out of reach and be aware of recipes that may include these as ingredients. 
  4. Fatty Foods: An excess of turkey skin, gravy, stuffing, and rich casseroles can trigger stomach upset dogs. Steer clear of fatty or greasy foods. You’ll have enough to clean up after dinner. You don’t need anything additional! 
  5. Anything containing alcohol: Beware of hidden alcohol on your holiday table. This means no bourbon sweet potatoes…at least for your dog! Alcohol is toxic to dogs and can lead to intoxication, depression, and coma.

Stick to these guidelines, and your dog can enjoy a safe and healthy Thanksgiving feast by your side. Remember, if in doubt about a particular food, it's wise to consult your vet.

Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!  Bone Appetit! 


*We are not pet nationalists. This information is based on research we have done. If you have any questions/concerns, please contact your veterinarian.

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