What Your Dog Can & Can’t Eat This Thanksgiving

We know how hard it can be to say no to puppy dog eyes and with all of the delicious-smelling foods of Thanksgiving — there is no doubt that there will be begging! For those of us who enjoy sharing our leftovers with even the furry members of the family, here is a list of safe Thanksgiving food for dogs along with a list of Thanksgiving foods to avoid. 

Gobble Gobble!

5 Safe Thanksgiving Foods for Dogs

can dogs have raw pumpkin on Thanksgiving

The following Thanksgiving dinner foods are safe for dogs to eat in moderation:

Turkey

Plain Thanksgiving turkey is a great source of protein for your dogs, and similarly to any green veggies that you give them, any turkey given to your dog should be free of any seasonings, gravy, and sauces.

Mashed Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are safe for dogs to eat as long as there is no added seasoning. 

A staple for most Thanksgiving spreads, sweet potatoes can provide your dog with several vitamins and minerals they need. However, many sweet potato dishes contain sugars that your dog should not have, so set aside some plain sweet potatoes to share, or get them their very own bag of Wholesome Pride sweet potato dog treats!

Pumpkin

Another Thanksgiving classic ingredient, pumpkins provide your pup with potassium, iron, and vitamins A & C. Plain pumpkin is great for dogs, but skip the pumpkin pie. As pumpkin gets the green light for pups, check out Wholesome Pride’s single-ingredient pumpkin treats!

Cranberries

Cranberries are a popular side dish that contains many beneficial vitamins and minerals. Similar to other items on this list, you should give them to your pup in moderation.

Green Vegetables

Peas and green beans are dog-friendly foods and are excellent sources of nutrients. But, if you are sharing with your furry friends, be sure they are served plain and without seasoning or sauces.

Thanksgiving Food to NEVER Share With Your Dog

dog-with-turkey

The following human foods from your Thanksgiving meal should never be shared with your pooch:

Turkey Skin and Bones

Turkey skin is very high in fat and can cause your dog to have stomach pain. Turkey bones can also pose a threat to your dog since they can splinter or cause choking. Unseasoned turkey meat is ok.

Stuffing

This is definitely not for pets. Stuffing usually contains seasoning and onions, so you should not share this Thanksgiving side with your pups.

Gravy

Similar to stuffing, many gravy dishes contain different seasonings and onion powders in addition to fats that could cause your dog indigestion.

Garlic & Onions

Watch out when sharing food with your dog that has been seasoned or cooked with garlic. Though good for our digestion, garlic is poisonous to dogs and cats. 

Ham

Fatty and very salty, ham can cause an extreme ache to your dog’s stomach or even pancreatitis.

Corn

Although this vegetable may not be bad for dogs in small doses, too many kernels can cause intestinal issues, and corn cobs are a choking hazard. Do definitely don’t want that in your pup’s digestive tract! It’s better to be safe and keep this Thanksgiving side off of your pup’s plate.

Bread Dough

Be sure to keep uncooked bread far from your pup, as the yeast in raw dough can lead to very serious problems including alcohol toxicosis.

Nuts

Several classic Thanksgiving dishes can contain various types of nuts. Since they are another ingredient very high in fat, it is best to avoid giving these to your pup.

Desserts

In general, you should not give your dog any added sugars, which is the main ingredient in the majority of Thanksgiving desserts like pie. You should also be wary of your pup getting into any dessert dishes that include chocolate or artificial sweetener xylitol, very dangerous and sometimes life-threatening ingredients for dogs when eaten in large amounts.

If you think your dog has eaten any of the above or seems ill, call the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680.

Keep Them OccuPIEd

dog treat ball snoop

If you have a hard time keeping your pup busy during the Thanksgiving feast so they aren’t begging at the table, try a Nina Ottosson Dog Brick or Planet Dog’s Orbee-Tuff Snoop. These dog puzzles will keep your dog busy by providing them some mental stimulation while they work to get their treats out of the toys. 

Tip: To make it last longer, freeze some canned pumpkin in the Dog Brick before serving. You can also use it to feed Fido his regular dog food.

Did Your Dog Eat Something They Shouldn’t Have?

small brown dog at pumpkin patch with thanksgiving dog treats

With the high potential of food dropping from the Thanksgiving table, it is important to know how to take care of your dog if they ate something they should not have. 

If you suspect that your dog has eaten something bad for them, be sure to first clean up any remaining food scraps that your dog might still be trying to eat. If your dog appears to be in any pain, such as shaking, stomach upset, or other out-of-the-norm behaviors, call your vet and Pet Poison Helpline immediately.

Want more information on taking care of your pet after they have ingested something toxic? Read more about what to do here.