Hey there, Paw Parents! With Thanksgiving just around the corner, you’re probably wondering what human foods are safe to share with your furry best friend. While some traditional Thanksgiving fare should definitely be avoided, not all table scraps are off-limits for dogs. 

Before you slip your pup a little turkey or mashed potatoes under the table, check out this handy guide to find out which Thanksgiving treats are perfectly safe for dogs to enjoy in moderation and which ones should stay on the human menu. 

Your dog will certainly be grateful for the extra love and attention over the holidays, even without the extra treats, but with this helpful information, you’ll feel better knowing exactly what’s okay to share and what’s best left out of their bowl. So continue reading if you want to know about what thanksgiving food can dogs eat.

Thanksgiving Foods That Are Safe for Dogs

Thanksgiving usually means lots of food, family, and fun—for humans and dogs alike! While some traditional Thanksgiving fare should be avoided, many classic dishes are actually safe for your canine companions in moderation. If you want to know what thanksgiving food can dogs eat, then check out the list below:

Turkey🍗

Turkey food for dog

Plain turkey meat, in small amounts, is fine for most dogs. Make sure there are no bones, and avoid highly seasoned or fried turkey. A few bites of boneless, unseasoned turkey is a safe treat. You can also check out safe and delicious turkey recipes for a dog Thanksgiving meal.

Green Beans🥗

Green Beans

Plain green beans, with no added butter or seasonings, are loaded with vitamins and minerals for dogs and humans. Cooked, soft green beans in moderation are safe thanksgiving food for dogs to eat.

Sweet Potatoes 🍠

Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes

Cooked sweet potatoes, especially mashed, are delicious and nutritious for dogs. Avoid giving the skin, and never top the potatoes with marshmallows, cinnamon, or nuts which can be choking hazards. Plain mashed sweet potatoes can be a perfect light treat.

Pumpkin🎃

Dogs can have pumpkin on Thanksgiving, as long as it is prepared in a safe and appropriate way. Pumpkin is a healthy and nutritious food for dogs, as it contains fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. Pumpkin can also help dogs with mild diarrhea or constipation, as it can regulate their bowel movements12345.

Pumpkin

However, not all pumpkin products are suitable for dogs. You should avoid giving your dog pumpkin that is seasoned, sweetened, or mixed with other ingredients that are harmful or toxic to dogs, such as garlic, onion, raisins, grapes, chocolate, and xylitol. This means that you should not share pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin bars, or pumpkin spice latte with your dog, as these can cause digestive upset, allergic reactions, or even poisoning in some cases.

The best way to give pumpkin to your dog is to use plain, cooked, or canned pumpkin that is unsweetened and unseasoned. You can mash it, puree it, or bake it into treats for your dog. 

Cheese🧀

Cheese

Cheese is not toxic to dogs. In fact, it can be a good source of protein, calcium, and vitamin A for dogs. However, cheese is also high in fat and calories, which can lead to obesity and pancreatitis in dogs if fed too often or in large quantities. It can cause digestive issues if given in large amounts or to dogs that are lactose intolerant. 

If your dog loves the taste and smell of cheese, then you can feed cheese in small amounts and only occasionally, and preferably low-fat and low-sodium varieties, such as cottage cheese, mozzarella, or goat cheese.

Cranberry Sauce (homemade)

Cranberry Sauce (homemade)

Homemade cranberry sauce, with no added sugar, is safe for dogs in moderation. Cranberries provide antioxidants and the sauce helps with urinary tract health. Too much sugar or raisins (found in some recipes) can be dangerous, so homemade sauce is best.

Thanksgiving comes only once a year, so if you want to avoid a trip to the vet’s office, then make sure to go through the list of foods that dogs can eat before cooking anything special for them. As always, if you have any questions about what your dog can eat, check with your vet. 

You should also consider putting up safe Thanksgiving decorations for dogs/cats to minimize the risk of choking and other accidents.

Thanksgiving Foods to Avoid Giving Your Dog🐶

The last thing you want is for your furry friend to get sick from eating something they shouldn’t. While there are some Thanksgiving foods you can share, avoid the following:

Turkey bones

Turkey bones

The bones from your turkey can be a choking hazard and may splinter, damaging your dog’s digestive tract. No matter how much they beg, do not give in. It’s not worth the risk.

Gravy

Gravy

While the smell may drive your dog wild, gravy is high in fat and often contains onions and garlic, which are toxic to dogs.

Stuffing

Stuffing also tends to be fatty and may contain raisins or nuts, which can be hazardous if eaten by dogs.

  • Onions and garlic: Both raw and cooked onions and garlic contain compounds that can damage red blood cells in dogs.
  • Raisins and grapes: Even small amounts of grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs.

Chocolates

Chocolate, especially dark and baking chocolates, contains theobromine, a stimulant that dogs metabolize much slower than humans. It can be toxic and even fatal to dogs in high amounts.

There are plenty of dog-friendly Thanksgiving treats you can give your furry friend, like sweet potatoes, green beans, bread, or rice. You can also ask your vet about healthy store-bought treats. The most important thing is keeping your faithful companion happy and safe this holiday season. If you follow the Thanksgiving pet safety tips to the T, such as feeding in moderation and avoiding certain foods, then you’ll both be able to enjoy this year’s Thanksgiving without any accidents.

Wrapping Up

With the smells of delicious roasted turkey and sweet potatoes wafting through the house and putting everyone in a festive mood, it becomes very difficult to keep track of the food items that dogs can and cannot eat.

So make sure to check out this handy guide on what Thanksgiving food can dogs eat and avoid slipping them any scraps from the table that could upset their stomach. 

Stick to the basics – small amounts of meat, potatoes, and other veggies – and keep the rich gravies and sugary desserts out of reach. Most of all, remember that while it’s always tempting to indulge our pets, moderation, and safety should be top of mind. Careful planning on your part can go a long way in making Thanksgiving special for the whole family.

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