Fixing a Safe Thanksgiving Dinner for Your Dog

Much of the food that appears on your Thanksgiving table can be given to your dog.

Thanksgiving traditionally is a time for families to get together, give thanks, and enjoy a hearty meal. And in the families that include a dog, you of course want your dog to join in the festivities! The trick to including your dog in the family feast is to plan for it as you prep food. Here are some great, healthy foods your dog will enjoy:

Carrots and Celery

Raw carrots and celery can be great treats for your dog. They’re hard, fun to chew, and low in calories. Make sure carrots are in large enough or small enough pieces they don’t cause a choking hazard for your dog. Celery should be cut up into bite-size pieces, as celery strings can cause choking.

Green Beans

Raw green beans are another great treat for your dog. Most dogs prefer them raw, but you can give them cooked green beans as long as the beans have not been seasoned. Avoid the green bean casserole, though. There are too many ingredients your dog doesn’t need. And some ingredients, like onions and mushrooms, can be harmful.


Plain cranberries will not hurt your dog if fed in moderation, although the berries are tart and not all dogs like the flavor. Cranberry sauce contains a lot of sugar, so only feed a little to your dog. Also, make sure the cranberry sauce does not contain currants, raisins, or grapes: these fruits are toxic to dogs.

White Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes

Dogs can eat cooked white potatoes or sweet potatoes. But save some out for your dog before you add salt, butter, milk, and other ingredients that make mashed potatoes and sweet potato casseroles such favorites at the table.


You should not give your dog gravy. It has too much fat and often has onion, garlic, or other ingredients that are harmful to dogs. Instead, use some Instant Bone Broth or some Pour Overs.


Apple slices are a great treat for your dog. Make sure to core the apple before giving it to your dog. Also, give him apple slices before adding the sugar, spice, and other ingredients used in baked apples or apple pie.


Pumpkin is a good treat for your dog any time. Fresh cooked pumpkin is best. You can use canned pumpkin as long as it is just pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling. The sugar and spices that give pumpkin pie its distinctive flavor can harm your dog, so opt for something more dog-friendly like a pumpkin pour over or Pumpkin Spiced Latte.


The main event, turkey, is another food your dog can eat. Just don’t give him the skin, which can be too fatty. Also, keep him away from the turkey bones which can splinter in his mouth, stomach, or intestinal track.

Turkey Cups

If you aren’t cooking up the traditional turkey for the humans present, your dog will love the taste of that holiday bird in his food. Get him some turkey cups, a complete meal with turkey as the main ingredient.

Some Final Tips

You can prepare your dog a tasty Thanksgiving dinner using many of the same foods your family will eat. Just remember to give him the food before it’s seasoned. Also, be sure you give your dog only a taste of each of these foods: they should all be fed in moderation.

Be sure to remind your guests that your dog eats from his bowl, not from the table. A little bit of food from a lot of people can quickly add up to too much for your dog.

If you keep these precautions in mind and are careful not to overfeed any of these foods, your dog will enjoy his Thanksgiving meal as much as you enjoy yours. And he’ll have one more reason to be eternally grateful you’ve given him such a good forever home.

Meet the Author: Pam Hair

Pam Hair is a pet industry copywriter with Fuzzy Friends Writer, where she combines her three passions: a love of animals, a strong desire to help other people, and the joy of writing. She has been a pet parent over the years to dogs, cats, and a variety of rodents. Currently she and her husband share their home with two guinea pigs.

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