Thanksgiving is celebrated to appreciate what we have and to share a delicious feast with friends and family, whether they have two legs or four! Just because we want to share, however, doesn’t mean we should. Learn which Thanksgiving foods are safe for our canine companions to enjoy and which should be avoided so we can all have a happy, fun, and festive holiday celebration!
Turkey is the star of most Thanksgiving meals and we’re willing to bet that your dog will probably be drooling for a bite. Luckily, turkey is a very safe and healthy choice for your pup should you want to share. Just make sure that the turkey is unseasoned and you choose a less fatty piece. What should be avoided, however, is the turkey skin, bones, and drippings, as well as any stuffing. All these can cause problems for any pup who just wants to enjoy a tasty treat this holiday!
Peas & Carrots
Peas and carrots go together like peanut butter and jelly, and they usually appear on the Thanksgiving table together as well. If your dog is eyeing this specific treat, it’s usually a safe and even beneficial choice to mix in with their dinner. Just make sure that the peas and carrots you share are unseasoned and don’t contain lots of butter, salt, or sweet dressings. A little here and there is fine, but overall your pup will appreciate a plain snack over a more unhealthy choice. You can even give it to them raw!
Who doesn’t love potatoes? Boiled, mashed, baked, or fried… potatoes are always delicious! Of course, our canine companions have noticed this too and might want to steal a little nibble off the Thanksgiving table. Luckily, potatoes of all kinds can be quite healthy for dogs and most will enjoy the natural flavor of a sweet potato or the more earthy taste of a russet one. They can be fattening, however, and like most Thanksgiving snacks you should avoid sharing with your pup if they’re coated in butter, salt, or seasonings. A plop of plain mashed potatoes is all they really need!
As with a lot of vegetables on this list, green beans are a staple Thanksgiving food that are healthy and safe to share with your dog. They’re full of vitamins C and K and have an ample amount of fiber as well. But as you’ve probably guessed, it’s best to serve this snack to your pup unseasoned, plain, and without a lot of butter or salt. You can prepare a separate dish just for your dog or even sprinkle the beans into their meal cooked or raw. They’ll appreciate the extra crunch when they go to take a bite!
When you think of autumn, you think of pumpkins. These tasty gourds usually find their way to the Thanksgiving table in the form of a pie, but can be served like many squashes mashed up or boiled. Pumpkin also happens to be very beneficial for dogs and helps keep their coats silky and shiny while also aiding in digestion. As such, pumpkin could be the perfect snack to share with your dog this holiday when served in it’s purest form. Avoid butter, salt, seasonings, and sweeteners, and absolutely no pumpkin pie for Fido. Some plain, canned pumpkin will serve your pup best!
Similar to pumpkin, apples are a staple to autumn and often are served during Thanksgiving in the form of a dessert. When eaten plain, however, apples are a healthy and safe choice to share with your canine companion as they’re full of vitamins A and C as well as fiber and some protein. Just make sure to cut out the core and only serve your dog the slices. Avoid giving them bites of apple pie or crisp as well, as these are full of sugars, fats, butters, and spices. The natural sugar in apples will be sweet enough on its own!
Any of these food can be a beneficial and smart choice to share with your furry family member this Thanksgiving, but we always recommend asking your vet before introducing any new foods to your dog’s diet. And as an extra precaution, we wanted to include a quick list of some unsafe foods for Fido just incase something slips your mind. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Unsafe Foods for Fido
- Turkey skin, bones, and stuffing
- Onions, garlic, shallots, leeks, & chives
- Dairy products
- Grapes & Raisins
- Chocolate Desserts
- Coffee & Tea
- Spices like nutmeg, onion powder, garlic powder, & sage
- Corn on the cob
We hope you have a safe and festive Thanksgiving holiday with lots of good food for you and Fido!