Safe And Healthy Foods To Share With Your Canine This Thanksgiving

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Check what your dog can eat this Thanksgiving from your plate. Learn the difference between safe and dangerous Thanksgiving dishes and how it may affect your dog's health.

As the season of giving approaches, it’s crucial to know where the boundaries are when it comes to feeding your dog human foods.

Did you know that the Thanksgiving season is quite a busy season for veterinarians? This happens due to dogs being fed unsafe human foods.

We know, it can be hard to resist those puppy eyes staring at you while you are eating your Thanksgiving turkey, but some things should just be off-limits.

Of course, everyone wants to share their slice of turkey with their canine, without knowing if dogs can eat turkey or not.

In fact, turkey is often included in many commercial dog foods, making it safe and healthy for dogs in limited portions, of course; but what makes Thanksgiving season so busy season for veterans is the fact that many don’t know which human foods are safe for dogs and which should be avoided by dogs.

With that in mind, we have created this simple and short guide on how to feed your dog during the Thanksgiving and holiday sessions in general.

In this guide, you will learn what can go underneath the Thanksgiving table and what must remain on your plate.

Thanksgiving And Dogs

From a human perspective, Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and holiday feasts, and dogs don’t see it anyhow different.

The only difference here is actually that you know for sure which foods support your health, while your dog had no idea that if he eats onion or garlic he could die.

No matter how hard is to say ‘no’ to those puppy eyes, dog’s health should come first.

You are not your dog’s enemy – we know, but it can’t harm to learn more about dog’s nutrition and yesses and nos that can prevent going to the vet’s and spending money that you could use for something else: like buying your dog a fresh leash, non rusting bowl or spending money to hiking gear with your canine.

Check out the following tips for safe & healthy foods to share with your canine this Thanksgiving:

Before you check all these foods as safe, it’s crucial to note that these foods should be served to dogs without any added ingredient.

Sweet Potatoes

This dish is a great source of vitamins, including vitamin C and vitamin B6, and even beta-carotene. Sweet potatoes should be used as a dehydrated sweet potato chew, without any added ingredients.

Potatoes: just like sweet potatoes, potatoes should be boiled or baked with no sour cream, any type of butter, pepper, or salt. Potatoes should be served only in moderation.


This fruit is full of vimanas A and C and contains lots of fiber, making it a great treat for your dog.

Just make sure that you clean the apple before you serve it to your dog – the core should always be removed because a large number of apple seeds can be toxic.

Turkey Meat

Turkey meat is a safe option for your dog, and you can share it with your dog as long as it has not been prepared with any seasoning.

It’s common for movies and commercials to see dogs chewing bones, but you should avoid serving it to your Fido.

Bones are hard to swallow, can be sharp, and can be easily broken and stuck into your dogs gums which can lead to numerous problems.

You should avoid feeding the skin as well. Why? The outer layer is likely to have been prepared with spices, butter, and other fatty ingredients, right? Every aspect of this extra can cause pancreatitis or other issues for your dog.

Green Beans

This delicious green food is a great choice when you want your and your dog’s health to support with some extra fiber and vitamins C and K.

Plan green beans are great for dogs, as long as they remain plain. The key here is to keep any extra ingredients away.

Plain Peas

Plain peas are a nice choice if you can keep them plain. Creamed peas are a big no-no, and as you may know, already fattier food can hurt your dog’s stomach.


Pumpkin itself is a very nice choice for your dog and a great healthy snack. Pumpkin supports digestive health, and it great for the dog’s coat and skin.

If you plan to serve your dog canned pumpkin, be sure that’s just pumpkin and not the pre-spiced pie mix.

As you can see, keeping your dog healthy around Thanksgiving ask a lot of preparation, involvement, and time.

It seems like a lot of work, and maybe you should think about feeding your dog regular food and keeping to a regular feeding schedule.

What About Desserts?

Can a Thanksgiving really go without a nice dessert? For dogs, a dessert is an option, as long as it suits their nutrition.

If your dog gets enough homemade dog treats over the year, and you want to reward him with something yummier, you can try something different this Thanksgiving: serve your dog something healthy, like frozen yogurt.

This is a great post-meal option because yogurt is rich in nutrients, protein, calcium, and live bacteria that can serve as probiotics.

Unsafe & Unhealthy Foods To Avoid at Thanksgiving

List on unhealthy Thanksgiving food is always longer than the healthier side. People eat more for Thanksgiving, and dogs can easily snatch human foods while not looking.

To rule out any possible accidents, prepare the menu for the day, and keep your food far from dog’s paws reach. Below you will find the list of foods that shouldn’t be served to dogs all year long, and especially on Thanksgiving:

  • Chocolate
  • Cookies
  • Pies
  • Raising and grapes
  • Sweets, especially those containing xylitol
  • Ham
  • Fatty foods
  • Onions, garlic, and scallions
  • Anything with spices
  • Creamed peas
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Casseroles
  • Stuffing
  • Turkey bones, skin, and gravy
  • Chicken bones
  • Yeast dough

If your dog still gets something that he shouldn’t, react immediately and seek help. If necessary, contact the Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian that offers weekend and after-hours services.

Don’t forget that dogs are super smellers, and if you place a delicious food anywhere near, they will find it for sure. Any scent is tempting to them, especially those from the trash.

While you are enjoying your family lunch, make sure that your dog is feed, so he doesn’t beg for table scraps.

You can prepare your dog a feast of his own. Offer your canine especially designed-for-pets chew bones.

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

Now that you know about food rules for Thanksgiving, you and your pet should have peaceful and easy-going Thanksgiving to enjoy.

However, if you are throwing a Thanksgiving party or overnight visitors, you need to plan ahead to keep your dogs and any other pets safe.

When having people over, it’s imperative to make the experience less stressful for everyone. Here is how you can do it.

1. Safety Comes First

Whether you are hosting a party, having guests over, or you are traveling for Thanksgiving day, double-check if your dog, or your pets, is wearing a collar and tag with your current information.

2. Update Your Pet’s Microchip

Microchipping is mandatory if you are a responsible dog owner. So, updating your dog’s microchip seems fitting. If your dog isn’t microchipped, call your veterinarian or your local shelter and make this appointment today.

Microchipping will help you find your dog faster in case he gets lost, and putting a tag on will inspire people to access the dog when alone on the streets – they will know that dog belongs to someone.

3. Visitors Can Upset Your Pets

Some pets are naturally shy, so for them having unfamiliar people around can mean real stress. So, for them, frequent steps and higher-than-usual noise and activity levels can create a high anxiety level.

If your dog is one of these sensitive creatures, put him in a crate with his favorite toy or treat, or in another room, if he likes being there alone – also give him a toy and play some background music. This way, you are reducing stress and possible injury.

If your dog still wants to be around, but in his own corner, just inform guests about rules, and not to force petting canine.

If your pet is particularly upset by houseguests, talk to your veterinarian to find the best possible solution.

Also, if any of your guests have compromised immune systems due to pregnancy, special medication, or treatments, make sure to take extra precautions if needed. If there are children, supervise their interaction and make sure that children know common behavior around dogs.

4. Watch The Exits

When bored, even the best-behaved canine will run through the door. So, make sure that your dog is in his place when people are entering or leaving. Welcoming guests and collecting coats are perfect moments for dogs to sneak out in a split of a second. So, just explain to guests to be careful at doors.

5. Watch Your Dog Around Festive Decorations

Don’t think that dogs don’t love decoration, especially if they are food-alike. Candles and special holiday displays are attractive to dogs, and they will try to sniff that candle and try to bite the greenery.

When you have a dog, and you love to decorate home, the very first rule is – never leave a pet alone in an area with a lit candle; it could result in fire, and extra precaution can’t harm.

Bear in mind that pine cones, needles, and other decorations (especially tiny ones) can lead to intestinal blockages or even perforate an animal’s intestine if eaten.

Of course, if you are traveling, leave your dog with a family member or friends, with a list of rules and guidelines. If you can’t find anyone from your surrounding to take care of your canine, think about a boarding facility.

Make No Bones About It

All in, if you follow all of the listed above, you won’t have any trouble around Thanksgiving. Of course, don’t stress too much about everything, because you can’t keep anyone on eye 24/7, so just have big things done.

Be careful about decorations, and keep it far from a dog’s reach, keep canine’s diet in order by serving only dog food, and avoid giving him human foods.

Have toys and treats around to keep him busy, and if your dog is too energetic, just ask a visitor who is a dog lover to play fetch outside or to cuddle while food is getting done.

After the meal, remove all trash and bones immediately. Last but not least – remind your guests and family members not to feed your pet table scraps.