Which Thanksgiving Foods Are Safe For My Dog?

Thanksgiving Food & Your Dog: What You Need to KnowThanksgiving Blog

It’s that time of year where we’re feeling extra grateful for our friends, family, and pets. Regardless of if you’re able to spend Thanksgiving with your family and friends, we can still celebrate with our pups. Like us, our dogs are excited to see the many varieties of Thanksgiving treats and goodies. However, it’s vital that we carefully pick and choose what special treats we may share with our dogs.

While dogs can indulge in some traditional Thanksgiving food, it may not be the best for their health. Today, we’re breaking down which Thanksgiving foods are safe and hazardous for dogs, as well as the perfect Thanksgiving dinner for your dog. 

Feel free to jump ahead to any of the following sections on Thanksgiving pet safety: 

  • Thanksgiving Fun With Your Pup
  • Thanksgiving Do’s: Safe Foods for Your Dog
  • Thanksgiving Dont’s: What Not to Give Your Dog
  • A Note on Table Scraps
  • PetPlate: The Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Fun With Your Pup

Thanksgiving isn’t just about the food! It’s also essential that we spend quality time with our pup. Here are some fun ways to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with your dog: 

  • Dress your dog up in a Thanksgiving-themed collar, bandana, sweater, etc.
  • Offer a fun new toy to keep your dog busy when you’re cooking and eating.
  • Teach your dog some new tricks to show off via Zoom with your family
  • Engage your dog mentally with a new puzzle toy. Many DIY options are available, such as hiding treats underneath a muffin tin or placing treats inside an old tennis ball or water bottle. 
  • Get your dog involved in some family-friendly touch football, a game of fetch, etc.
  • Create a new tradition for you and your dog, like a longer-than-normal morning walk on Thanksgiving day or baking dog-friendly treats.
  • Curl up in front of the TV and watch the National Dog Show together.

Please keep in mind these Thanksgiving pet safety measures as you spend time with your dog: 

  • Never dress your dog in anything that makes them uncomfortable. If they’re trying to remove that cute Thanksgiving dog bandana, that’s okay! Move on to something else.
  • Check for any small pieces on Thanksgiving dog bandanas, sweaters, and collars that could become choking hazards.
  • Keep your dog’s energy level in mind. If you have a hyper puppy, sitting still and watching the National Dog Show may not be ideal, but they’ll love an extra-long walk or a new puzzle toy to figure out.
  • Always monitor your puppy when they’re playing with toys, especially anything new!

Thanksgiving Do’s: Safe Foods for Your Dog

We want you and your pup to have a fun and safe Thanksgiving this year, so we’re breaking down some of the most common Thanksgiving foods that are safe for your dog to eat.

Always check with your veterinarian before feeding your dog anything outside their regular diet, but the following foods are generally considered safe for dogs to eat. 

We know the number one question you’re asking is can my dog eat turkey? Yes, but skip the bones, skin, and gravy. Bones need to be avoided because they can pose a choking hazard to dogs. The outer layer of turkey skin is fatty and usually prepared with butter or seasonings that dogs should not consume. Stick to plain turkey meat if you plan on feeding your dog turkey this holiday season. 

Pork is another meat commonly eaten at Thanksgiving. If you want to feed your dog pork, it’s vital that you provide them unseasoned, cooked pork. Pork is frequently seasoned with garlic, nutmeg, and onion powder. All of these spices are highly toxic to your pup. It’s best to avoid feeding your dog anything with sauce or condiments on it due to the high salt content. 

Plain vegetables, such as potatoes, celery, broccoli, carrots, corn, sweet potatoes, asparagus, and green beans, are excellent foods for both humans and pets. Vegetables, like green beans, even provide essential nutrients such as vitamins, fiber, and manganese. Thanksgiving classics like mashed potatoes are safe to serve as long as they’re cooked and unseasoned. Skip the butter, salt, and seasonings and feed your dog the plain, cooked version. 

Pumpkin is a fantastic snack for dogs that benefits their digestive system and coat. Feel free to share some pumpkin with your dog, just double check that you’re providing your dog with pure pumpkin and not a pre-spiced pie mix! 

When feeding your dog a special Thanksgiving treat, moderation is key. Even safe “human” foods can be harmful to pets when they consume too much. 

Thanksgiving Dont’s: What Not to Give Your Dog

Many delicious Thanksgiving foods are safe for dogs, but there is an even larger number of Thanksgiving foods to avoid feeding your pup. 

While plain turkey and pork are generally okay to feed your pup, ham should be avoided entirely. Ham is difficult for dogs to digest because of its fattiness and most ham, especially store-bought hams, are loaded with sodium. Too much salt is toxic to dogs and can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and other harmful side effects. Do you dog a favor and skip feeding them any ham! 

Your dog should never consume alcohol, so keep a close eye on any beverages that your dog may be able to get into. The Veterinary Centers of America notes that all forms of grapes, alcohol, raisins, currants, etc., should be avoided as they can cause sudden kidney failure in dogs.

As previously noted, seasonings can turn even safe food into a dangerous experience for your dog. Ensure that any food you feed your dog is unseasoned, as ingredients like onions, scallions, garlic, and other spices are hazardous to their well-being. 

Baked goods are another Thanksgiving food to avoid feeding your pup this holiday season. Many baked goods contain yeast dough, spices, butter, alcohol, chocolate, and xylitol, a toxic sugar substitute. All of these ingredients are harmful to pets and can result in severe digestive upset or worse.

It may be tempting with those puppy dog eyes staring up at you, but stay strong and stick with foods that are safe for your pup! You’ll feel better knowing that what they’re eating is safe, and your dog won’t suffer from any uncomfortable side effects in the process.  

A Note on Table Scraps

We know it’s the holidays and your dog is looking incredibly cute, but don’t give in to the temptation of feeding them random table scraps. Many unsafe Thanksgiving foods can have deadly consequences for your pup. For example, fatty table scraps, like turkey skin or ham, are connected with pancreatitis cases in dogs, which can be fatal. The American Kennel Club even reports an increase in emergency vet visits on Thanksgiving due to dogs eating unsafe foods.

Even dog-friendly table scraps can lead to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems if not carefully monitored. We recommend sticking to a moderate, dog safe Thanksgiving dinner this year to cut out the risks that table scraps can have on your dog’s health.

PetPlate: The Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner

If you’re looking for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner for your pup, look no further. Our PetPlate meals are chock full of 100% human-grade ingredients and kettle-cooked in a USDA kitchen following the same standards required to make human foods. Our dogs are part of the family and we feel that they should never be subject to tasteless, poor-quality food. 

For Thanksgiving, we recommend our Tail Waggin’ Turkey meal made with festive ingredients like turkey, carrots, pumpkin, and apples. If you have a picky eater, our Chompin’ Chicken meal is here to the rescue. Chompin’ Chicken includes chicken, sweet potatoes, apples, green beans, and many more high-quality ingredients that benefit your pup’s health and aid in weight management.

Pet parents love our meals because of the fantastic results they see: more energy, shinier coats, allergy relief, a healthier weight, and mealtime excitement. Give your dog something to be excited about this Thanksgiving with one of our delicious meal choices. 

If you’re a current PetPlate customer, remember that you can mix & match different meals in your deliveries to provide your pup with something special for the holidays! If you haven’t tried Pet Plate yet, we invite you to try all of our meals out to see what your dog prefers. Regardless of what you pick, we have a 100% Clean Bowl Guarantee. Your dog will lick the bowl clean or your money back! Answer a few quick questions here to get started picking a dog-approved meal plan your pup will adore!

We wish you and your pup a very happy Thanksgiving!