Thanksgiving Food for Dogs

Published: 20 Apr 2024
Ashley Marlton
Ashley Marlton
Dr. Marlton spent her first two years in practice working as a veterinary assistant at a 24-hour emergency care animal hospital in Michigan prior to moving to Miami. Following graduation, Dr. Marlton attended Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biochemical Sciences in Fort Collins while participating in volunteer spay neuter trips.
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Thanksgiving signifies a time for gathering with those we hold dear to celebrate and make lasting memories, frequently accompanied by our cherished pets like dogs and cats. However, as responsible guardians of these creatures, it is essential to be aware of which traditional Thanksgiving foods might trigger allergic reactions in our pets and which ones are harmless.

Although it is very tempting to offer a part of your feast with your pup, as your pets can also be indulgent in some ways, you should be very careful for the reason that the food we humans eat may not be suitable for your furry friend.

Without further ado, here is the list of food that you can and cannot feed your pets straight from your Thanksgiving meal.

Are Thanksgiving Foods Safe For Dogs?

While your dogs require a balanced diet, it won’t actually hurt them if you sometimes deviate from their diet and give them human food, in moderation. However, you should know that not all human food can be given to your pup during Thanksgiving.

Always remember that in order for your dog to be healthy, he must follow a well-balanced diet and these human foods cannot provide such.

Dog Dining In The Table

What Can Dogs Eat On Thanksgiving?


As cooked turkey had become the staple of every family’s Thanksgiving dinner table, you might be wondering if your pet could eat turkey; the short answer is yes! Your pets can eat turkey meat but there are exceptions.

If you happened to talk to your veterinarian, they would definitely tell you to skip feeding your pet both turkey bones and turkey skin as well as the gravy stuffing, for the reason that these are potentially dangerous for your furry friends.

Turkey bones can be potentially harmful to most dogs as they could obstruct the throat which can lead to choking and may cause problems in your pet’s digestive tract.

The skin and the fatty gravy can be equally dangerous for your pet too! The outer layer of this thanksgiving poultry was likely prepared with butter, spices, and fatty ingredients which can most likely cause pancreatitis and other gastrointestinal distress to your pet.

Although meat from your turkey is safe, you should avoid giving bones and skins to your pet at all costs; unless you like to visit your local vet.

Sweet Potatoes

Nutrition-wise, sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, which promotes a healthy coat, skin, muscles, and nerves.

Contrarily, your mashed potatoes recipe is a big no-no and it’s a bad idea to feed your pup with this mouth-watering recipe. Mashed potatoes contain butter and milk which are quite overwhelming for your pet. Additionally, this recipe includes spices and garlic which can be potentially deadly.

White potatoes and sweet potatoes, on the other hand, are generally safe for your pet, as long as you give them having no additives-plain as they are.

Pooch Staring At The Food

Rolls And Bread

As long as you do not put butter on your baked goods, wheat and plain white bread are perfectly safe for your dog to consume. However, there is an exception when it comes to raw bread dough.

If your pet accidentally ingests uncooked dough, it may cause to upset your dog’s stomach as the yeast continues to convert the sugars in the dough to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol which can be life-threatening for your dog if not well taken care of.

Fruits & Vegetables

Feel free to give your dog small fruits and veggies treats as they are packed with nutrients that your dog needs. Your dog can have plain green beans, carrots, potatoes, celery, and corn; as long as they are fed to your dog plain and do not have additional spices and other ingredients.

That simply means that there will be no creamed peas or canned veggies (like green beans) for your four-legged friend. Additionally, as not all fruits and veggies aren’t suitable for your dog, you should make sure that you give your pup none of which: grapes and raisins, onions, and garlic


It is totally fine to feed your dog the pumpkin while you make the pumpkin pie dessert. However, your dog might not respond well if you give him the pumpkin pie filling.

Pumpkin filling contains artificial sweeteners, xylitol in particular, which is a sugar substitute present in many canned pie fillings as well as repacked desserts which is a very toxic substance and can cause low blood sugar & even death.

Hence, you should be very particular with the foods that are within the reach of your dog.

Corgi Prepping For Thanksgiving

What Can A Dog Not Eat On Thanksgiving?

While there are plenty of selections to choose from, your pup’s health can be at risk whenever they ingest some specific food that is highly toxic and can be potentially deadly for your furry friend.

Foods that your dog should not eat include caffeine, alcohol, grapes and raisins, onions, chocolates, fatty food, and frozen yogurt. These food products are proven and tested to cause digestive tract upset, food allergies, elevated heart rate, nervous system issues, kidney failure, alcohol poisoning, as well as liver failure.

In fact, according to statistics, as Thanksgiving takes place, there is an upsurge of emergency vet visits across the United States which clearly suggests how dangerous these human foods are for our furry companion[1].

As a dog owner, you should be aware that these incidents can always be prevented. With the right precautionary measure and actions, you will be effectively reducing the risks that your pup faces during this time of the year.

Feeding My Dog With Thanksgiving Foods

Frequently Asked Questions

What meat should dogs avoid?

Dogs should avoid meat with high-fat content. Although your pup’s dog food contains meat products there will have some exceptions. These particular meats include ham, bacon, and burgers. As these meats also contain high salt content, they can cause digestive problems like bloating.

What are foods dogs should not eat?

Dogs cannot eat literally everything that has no high-fat content, preservatives, potentially hazardous ingredients, and choking hazards. To name a few, your dogs should not eat fatty foods like ham, yeast dough, grapes, onions, raisins.

What are the dos and don’ts for dogs at Thanksgiving?

Do not give your dogs all the food you can think of without first researching whether it’s good for them or not. Do treat your dogs with human food, in moderation and always keep in mind that these foods don’t substitute your pup’s dog food.


Evidently, the list of food that your pooch should not try is relatively longer than the list of food that you can give to them as treats. This gives the implication that your pups are in grave danger especially when you do not put great effort into checking the human food you will be giving to your dog through the internet.

While dog ownership is never a simple task, you should be able to familiarize your four-legged companion and do everything that is good for them. Having that said, in the next Thanksgiving, give your dog the human food he deserves in moderation and with high caution. If for some instances, when your dog accidentally ingests foods with potential hazards, you should call your dog’s veterinarian immediately.

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