Thanksgiving Food for dogs: What's safe and what's off the table

November 2, 2023 | 3-MIN READ

Thanksgiving Food for dogs: What's safe and what's off the table

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and, of course, feasting. As you gather around the table to enjoy a bountiful meal, you may be tempted to share some of your delicious Thanksgiving dishes with your furry family member. While it's heartwarming to include your dog in the festivities, it's crucial to be aware of what's safe and what's off the table when it comes to Thanksgiving food for your pet. In this article, we'll explore the do's and don'ts to keep your dog happy and healthy during the holiday season.

What's Safe for Your Dog:

  • Turkey: Turkey is often the centerpiece of a Thanksgiving feast, and your dog can enjoy a small amount of cooked, boneless, skinless turkey meat. Avoid feeding your dog turkey with bones, skin, or excessive seasoning, as these can pose health risks.
  • Sweet Potatoes: Plain, cooked sweet potatoes are a healthy and nutritious treat for your dog. They're rich in vitamins and fiber. Avoid candied yams or those with added sweeteners.
  • Green Beans: Fresh or cooked plain green beans make a safe and healthy side dish for your dog. They're low in calories and a good source of vitamins.
  • Plain Pumpkin: Plain canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) can be an excellent addition to your dog's diet. It's a good source of fiber and can help with digestion.
  • Apples: Apples are a healthy, crunchy snack for dogs, but make sure to remove the seeds and core as they contain cyanide, which is toxic to dogs.

What to Avoid:

  • Bones: Never give your dog turkey, chicken, or ham bones, as they can splinter and cause choking or internal injuries.
  • Onions and Garlic: These ingredients are toxic to dogs and should be avoided at all costs. This includes dishes like stuffing and onion-based gravies.
  • Grapes and Raisins: Grapes and raisins can lead to kidney failure in dogs, so keep them out of your pet's reach.
  • Fatty Foods: Rich, fatty foods like gravy and turkey skin can lead to pancreatitis in dogs. It's best to keep these out of your dog's diet.
  • Nuts: Many nuts, such as walnuts and macadamia nuts, can be toxic to dogs. Keep nut-containing dishes, like pecan pie, away from your pet.
  • Chocolate and Desserts: Chocolate is highly toxic to dogs, and desserts like pies and cakes often contain ingredients that can be harmful, including xylitol, a sugar substitute that can be deadly to dogs.
  • Alcohol: Never give alcohol to your dog. It can lead to alcohol poisoning, which can be fatal.

Even safe Thanksgiving foods should be given to your dog in moderation. A small taste or a bit of turkey as a treat is fine, but avoid overindulging your pet, as too much rich food can lead to upset stomachs, diarrhea, or other digestive issues.

It's important to remember that while sharing a bit of Thanksgiving food with your dog can be a wonderful way to include them in the festivities, it should be done thoughtfully and in moderation. Overindulging your pup in rich table scraps not only poses potential health risks but can also lead to fussy eating habits. In our previous article on "Tips for your Fussy Dog Eater" we explored how the habit of feeding your dog from the table can lead to selective eating and a reluctance to enjoy their regular dog food. So, as you gather around the Thanksgiving table, consider the long-term impact of your choices and how they may influence your dog's dietary preferences in the future. A balanced and mindful approach to treat-giving can ensure that your dog remains healthy and happy without developing finicky eating habits.