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Let’s Talk Turkey And Get The Gourd Times Rolling

At A Glance

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! In all the merriment, it can be easy to forget what foods are safe for your four-legged family member and what foods must be avoided at all costs.

  • Foods that make it to the list of what food can dogs eat on thanksgiving include turkey, sweet potato, cranberries, green beans, and pumpkin.
  • Make sure you keep your dog away from turkey skin, bones, turkey drippings, stuffing, potatoes, onion and garlic, nutmeg, mushroom, chocolate, and, alcohol.

Last Updated on: Nov 11, 2022

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The holiday season is upon us! It’s the time to give thanks and enjoy an enticing Thanksgiving feast with friends and family — and that includes the pets in the house.

Wait, is it safe to allow your dogs to share in the thanksgiving feast?

Of course, yes!

It is a special occasion, after all. But you need to exercise some caution. Not everything that smells great and tastes amazing is suitable for your pet.

Vets recommend that pet parents think twice before feeding their pets a little bit of everything from the table.

Thankfully, your pet can enjoy plenty of holiday foods. But there’s also plenty they can’t. So, let’s find out what can dogs eat on Thanksgiving before you get the feast mode on.

Thanksgiving Foods Dogs Can Eat Safely

Did you know? “Thanksgiving often brings an uptick in vet visits due to pets being fed unsafe human foods”, says Dr. Jerry Klein, the chief veterinary officer of the American Kennel Club.

So, what is okay for dogs to eat on Thanksgiving? Take a look.

Let’s Talk Turkey

Turkey is the highlight of a Thanksgiving meal. But can dogs eat turkey? Yes!

Turkey is a component of many dog treats and packaged meals. And it is perfectly safe for dogs to consume so long as it is cooked plain, without any spices or butter.

Go ahead and feed your dog some scraps of turkey from the table. Just make sure you remove the skin as it contains fat and spices. Small quantities of plain turkey meat should be good enough. According to Dr. Klein, “The dangers usually lie in the seasonings, skin, and bones.

How to serve: Prepare the turkey plain and roast it in the oven for your pup. Or remove scraps of meat from your Thanksgiving turkey. Ensure there is no seasoning or butter on it before feeding it to your dog.

Eat, Drink, And Cranberry

Both dry and fresh cranberries are safe for dogs to consume in small quantities, and some dogs seem to like the tart taste. However, keep the portions small to avoid an upset stomach.

On that note, cranberry jam or cranberries cooked in a lot of sugar, lemon, or alcohol are a definite no.

How to serve: Feed your dog a few dried or fresh cranberries as a snack.

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Stuffed On Sweet Potatoes

Dogs can eat sweet potatoes as long as they are prepared correctly. To avoid indigestion, thoroughly cook the sweet potato and remove all the skin before feeding it to your dog.

Always start with small amounts, and ensure the potatoes are soft and easy to chew.

How to serve: Boil or steam sweet potato till soft. Peel the skin entirely before serving a small portion to your dog.

50 Shades Of Green. We’re Talking Beans

When you ask what dogs can eat on Thanksgiving, green beans get a resounding YES!

The best part? They’re full of nutrients, and dogs seem to love them.

Raw, boiled, or steamed, you can serve them to your dog in any way. Just keep the spices and condiments away.

How to serve: Cook the green beans by steaming or boiling them, or serve them raw. Make sure you chop them into small pieces, so they’re not a choking hazard.

dog with pumpkins

Pumpkin Pies Are Everything Nice

But are they good for your dog?

“Pumpkin is ultimately very healthy and safe for dogs. However, this goes for plain, raw pumpkin but not pie or pre-spiced pie mixes. They may contain the artificial sweetener xylitol, which is toxic to dogs”, says Dr. Jerry Klein, the chief veterinary officer of the American Kennel Club.

Pumpkins are rich in essential nutrients like vitamins A, C, E, iron, and potassium. They’re also packed with fiber and are very safe to consume in small quantities.

How to serve: Pumpkins can be served in many forms — raw, canned, pureed, steamed, or boiled — so long as they are plain. They are also great for your pup’s digestion!

Corn Is Simply A-maize-ing

Corn is an excellent treat for your dog, albeit in small quantities. You can feed them some corn as long as it’s been boiled or steamed and is off the cob.

Allowing your dog to chew on corn on the cob can result in choking, or your dog may ingest a large chunk of indigestible cob.

How to serve: Shuck the corn, cook it by boiling or steaming it, and strip it from the cob before serving it to your dog. Give your dog only small quantities of corn — too much is never good.

It’s An Applesolute Kinda Love

Apples are an excellent treat for your dog and will keep its breath fresh.

Dr. Gary Richter, MS, DVM, affirms this, saying, “Apples are full of vitamins A and C and contain lots of great fiber, making them a healthy Thanksgiving treat for your pet.”

Your pup will love snacking on an apple wedge. Make sure to cut the apple and discard the core and the seeds — if ingested, they can be toxic for dogs.

How to serve: Cut up small wedges of apples and give your pup 1-2 pieces.

It’s Celery-bration Time. So Keep Calm And Carrot On

Carrots and celery are both safe for dogs to consume in small portions. Most dogs love the crunch and freshness of these veggies, which makes them a nice treat every once in a while!

Celery, when consumed in small amounts, can also boost your dog’s heart health!

How to serve: Thoroughly wash the carrots and celery and cut them up into bite-sized pieces, especially before serving them to your pup, absolutely plain.

Rice Rice Baby

Rice is a good carbohydrate for your dog and is generally easy to digest. Adding some rice now and then to your dog’s meal is totally safe.

Many dog parents feed white rice to their sick dogs since it is low in fiber and can give them energy without taking a toll on their tummies.

How to serve: Cook a small amount of white rice and mix it with a favorite wet food.

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What The Feta? Say Cheese!

Like us humans, some dogs can eat cheese and have no trouble digesting it, while others can be lactose intolerant. Find out whether or not your dog can handle dairy and cheese before you decide to indulge them.

Cheese would be a great treat on Thanksgiving. Many dog parents use cheese as positive reinforcement while training their pups!

However, as always, moderation is key. Even dogs who can digest cheese should be served it in small quantities.

How to serve: Cut up small cheese cubes and feed them to your dogs as a treat.

All You Knead Is A Good Loaf

Bread is safe for your pup. However, avoid multigrain bread or brown bread with too many seeds or grains, as it can be hard to digest for your dogs.

You can give your dog white bread if they aren’t allergic to it. Remember, though, that bread is just a carb or a filler food and doesn’t really add much in terms of nutrients to your pet’s diet.

How to serve: Plain white bread, with no flavoring or seasoning, makes the cut, but in very small portions.

dog with an empty bowl

What Dogs Shouldn’t Eat On Thanksgiving

Now that we know the treats your pet can partake in this Thanksgiving let’s look at what can dogs not eat on Thanksgiving.

Turkey Skin, Bones, And Drippings

While plain turkey meat is okay for dogs to consume in small amounts, turkey skin, bones, and drippings are full of fats and spices that can make your dog very sick.

“If the turkey is seasoned, has added oils, or pieces of skin or fat, you increase the chance of causing pancreatitis, vomiting, and diarrhea”, says Dr. Michelle Lugones, DVM.


Stuffing is full of sodium and fats, which can be very toxic for dogs.


Potatoes contain solanine, which is a highly toxic compound for some dogs. So can dogs eat potatoes? It’s best to avoid potatoes, especially raw ones. But I know some dogs, including mine, love tubers. So, skip raw or mashed potatoes. Sweet and regular baked or boiled potatoes without condiments get a thumbs up.


Herbs are what add flavor to food, making most dishes a gastronomic experience. Unfortunately, herbs like sage can be poisonous for dogs.

Garlic And Onion

What’s food without garlic and onions, right? But you can’t say the same when talking about dog food. Onions, garlic, and other vegetables in the allium family are very toxic for dogs.


Nutmeg is a warming spice we often use in the fall, but it’s not safe for dogs.

As Dr. Michelle Lugones, DVM, notes, “Little is known about why nutmeg is toxic to dogs or how much of it is needed to poison a dog, but it’s hallucinogenic and can cause seizures, tremors, vomiting, and even death.”

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Dogs can have adverse reactions to mushrooms, including mushroom poisoning, which could lead to death in some extreme cases. Your dog could also exhibit symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, seizures, and cramping. It’s, therefore, best to keep your pet away from these fungi.

Butter Never Better

Fat-rich foods like butter can cause several health problems in dogs, including an upset stomach, obesity, and pancreatitis.


This one’s a no-brainer! Alcohol is forbidden on the list of what food can dogs eat on Thanksgiving or otherwise. Even a small quantity can prove to be toxic to your pup.

Ice Cream

Some dogs are lactose intolerant and cannot digest milk. So, it’s best to avoid giving such dogs ice cream and other dairy products to such dogs. Plus, the high sugar content in ice cream can be harmful even if your dog is not lactose intolerant.

Chocolate – Not Such A Sweet Deal

Most pet parents know that chocolate is extremely toxic for dogs. Even a little bit may require an emergency visit to the vet and can even prove fatal.


Xylitol is a common sugar substitute used in many packaged or canned goods. Avoid cranberry sauces or jams with xylitol because even small amounts can cause seizures and vomiting and can be fatal for your pet.

It’s, therefore, always wise to check the ingredients list on packaged food before you feed some to your pet.

Safety Tips For Dogs On Thanksgiving

  • Make a note of foods your dog is allergic to or has reacted negatively to in the past.
  • Not everyone knows what dogs can and cannot eat on Thanksgiving. So, if a family member or friend is hosting or bringing food, ensure they know what foods are off-limit for your pup.
  • Double-check all ingredients of a package before adding it to your dog’s meal.
  • No matter how safe the food is, give it to your dog in small portions, and monitor how they respond to new foods throughout the day.

dog with a thanksgiving hat

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Dogs Eat Stuffing?

No. The high sodium and fat content can be toxic to your dog.

Can Dogs Have Mashed Potatoes?

Plain mashed potatoes with no seasoning are okay in minimal quantities, but it’s best to skip this food since it offers no nutritional value to your dog.

Can Dogs Have Turkey And Gravy?

You can give your dog pieces of plain turkey meat in moderation, but gravy contains too much sodium and is unsafe for dogs. You can give your dog plain bone broth.


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Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

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