Dog looking at Turkey

Few dogs can resist the temptation of the never-ending buffet of human food, a recipe that can lead to trouble.  But that doesn’t have to be the case for your dog. With enough knowledge and preparation, you can have your pet be a part of the holiday. Here’s how to have the best Thanksgiving with dogs.

Dog Thanksgiving Meal

No celebration is complete without food, and dogs might want to enjoy some table scraps. But did you know Thanksgiving often marks an uptick in emergency vet visits across the United States? This is because a lot of “human” food dogs consume around this time of the year is unhealthy and, in extreme cases, even toxic to them.

So if you want to share with your pet, you must know exactly what Thanksgiving food for dogs is safe and what isn’t. We have compiled a complete list of this info below.

What to Feed your Dog

Turkey Meat

We all know what you're thinking. No thanksgiving is complete without a delicious thanksgiving turkey, and luckily, turkey meat is completely safe for dogs. As long as you remove the seasoned skin and take care to avoid bones, there's no reason for your dog to not partake in this beloved Thanksgiving tradition.


As long as there are no added ingredients, both sweet and normal potatoes are entirely safe for dogs. Boiled or baked sweet potatoes with no butter, sour cream, salt, or pepper are a great source of dietary fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin B6, and vitamin C, all of which are beneficial for dogs.


Thanksgiving is a great time for pumpkin pie. Rich in fiber, pumpkin helps promote digestive health and is also great for a dog's skin and coat. Pure canned pumpkin without any spices or other additions makes for a great, healthy dog snack not only at Thanksgiving but around the year.


Full of vitamin A, C and lots of fiber, apples are an excellent Thanksgiving treat for your pet. One thing to remember is to cut around the core, as large quantities of apple seeds can be toxic to dogs.


Plain peas are a great treat, although creamed ones should be avoided as their higher fat content can upset your dog’s stomach.

Green Beans

Green beans without added ingredients are great for dogs as they are abundant in plant fiber, manganese, and vitamins C and K. The keyword here, of course, is plain, as butter and spices can be harmful to dogs.

Bread and Rice

As long as your dog isn't allergic to them, cooked plain bread and white rice are perfectly safe when celebrating Thanksgiving with dogs. Just be careful not to overdo it.


For dogs that aren't lactose-intolerant, cheese makes for a very good occasional snack—especially low-fat varieties of cheese like mozzarella and low or nonfat cottage cheese.


Corn has been a holiday staple since the first Thanksgiving dinner, and its kernels are perfectly safe for dogs. Never give your dog corn on the cob in order to prevent a chance of choking.

Healthy Desserts

No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without dessert, and luckily your dog doesn't have to sit out. Healthy desserts like frozen yogurt are great for dogs as they provide calcium, protein, and probiotics. The only thing you need to watch out for is xylitol, an artificial sweetener toxic to dogs.

What to Avoid

The key to having a pet-friendly thanksgiving is to know what foods to absolutely avoid. These foods are:

  • Alcohol: Alcohol is very toxic to dogs, and even small amounts of it can result in toxicity.
  • Chocolate: The potentially lethal dose of milk chocolate for dogs is one ounce per pound of body weight. Dark chocolate is even more toxic.
  • Coffee and tea: Anything with caffeine is bad for dogs and must be avoided.
  • Garlic, onions, and leeks: As members of the Allium family, even a stray garlic clove or slice of onion can be toxic to dogs.
  • Grapes and raisins: Grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs, as they injure their kidneys and can lead to kidney failure.
  • Casseroles: Holiday casseroles are often laden with heavy cream, butter, salt, garlic, onion etc., all of which are toxic to dogs.
  • Raw yeast dough: Uncooked yeast dough causes severe life-threatening bloating and must be avoided.
  • Ham: Ham’s high salt content makes it toxic for dogs. Consumption leads to lethargy, abnormal fluid accumulation, vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive thirst and urination.
  • Anything fatty or seasoned: Excessively rich or fatty foods trigger pancreatitis in dogs, while spicy foods can be toxic, leading to stomach problems like pain, diarrhea, and gas.

Thanksgiving is a time of joy and merrymaking, and there’s no reason for your dog to miss out on the festivities. Be sure to get in that after dinner walk or play a little backyard football so everyone can work off their deserts! 

If you'd rather your pet not be bugging or begging people while eating, definitely consider one of our pet pens like our 27 inch height medium pet pen.

Hope this article helps! Got any helpful tips? Share your experience with dogs and Thanksgiving in the comments below!

Be sure to keep checking out our blog for more helpful and insightful pet tips from Clearly Loved Pets


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