Turkey Day Treats: Thanksgiving Foods Your Dog Can Eat

Phoebe Cooper · Nov 13, 2023 · All

Author: Natalie Szymiczek

It's that time of year again when the air gets a little crisper, the leaves turn to warm shades of orange and red, and the delightful aroma of a Thanksgiving feast wafts through the air. Thanksgiving is a time for families to come together, share gratitude, and, of course, indulge in a delicious meal.

But what about your furry family members? As a responsible and loving dog parent, you want to ensure your pup enjoys the festivities as well. The good news is that there are some delightful Thanksgiving foods your dog can safely enjoy amidst the holiday cheer.

In this guide, we'll explore a list of Thanksgiving foods your dog can safely eat, so they can join in the festivities!

1. Turkey: The Main Event

The centerpiece of most Thanksgiving feasts, turkey, can be a delight for your dog as well. It's a great source of lean protein, and most dogs absolutely love it. However, there are some important considerations to keep in mind:

  • Remove Bones: Ensure that the turkey you offer to your dog is boneless. Bones can splinter and cause choking hazards or gastrointestinal issues.
  • Remove the skin: Too much fat is dangerous for dogs and can cause pancreatitis. Also, the skin is where we generally season our turkey - these seasonings can be harmful to a dog’s stomach.
  • No Seasonings: Plain, cooked turkey is the way to go. Avoid using any seasonings or spices like garlic or onions, which are toxic to dogs.

The reality is that we rarely cook our Thanksgiving turkeys without seasonings. We lather them in butter and oil and stuff them with a variety of different foods. To be safe, purchase a small, unseasoned turkey just for your dog. You can cook this plain and serve it separately to your dog, so you won’t have to worry about ingredients that may be harmful.

2. Potatoes: A Side Your Pup Will Love

Mashed potatoes are a Thanksgiving classic, and your dog can join in on the fun - with some modifications. To prepare a dog-friendly version, make sure to skip the butter and milk. Instead, serve your dog plain boiled or baked potatoes. Too much dairy can lead to upset stomachs - NOT what you want to deal with when you have a house full of guests!

3. Sweet Potatoes: A Healthy Choice

Sweet potatoes are a nutritious and tasty option for your dog. They are packed with dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and beta-carotene. To prepare them safely, avoid adding sugary toppings like marshmallows or brown sugar. Instead, serve plain, cooked sweet potatoes.

If you’re looking for something that will last a little longer, consider Natural Farm’s Sweet Potato Stuffed Hooves or Chicken Natbones, which contain a superfood filling of chia seeds, broccoli, and sweet potato. These longer-lasting options provide a tasty sweet-potato treat while offering mental stimulation and promoting dental health.

4. Green Beans: The Power of Green

Green beans can be a wonderful addition to your dog's Thanksgiving meal. They are incredibly healthy and contain fiber, vitamins C and K, and manganese. The best part? Dogs seem to love them!

As with the other foods, serve them plain, without butter, sauces, or salt. If you are feeding your dog canned green beans, make sure they have no added salt. If you are cooking fresh green beans, steamed or boiled is best for your dog as this method requires no oil or added fats.

5. Cranberries: A Tart Treat

Cranberries are known for their tartness, but they can be given to your dog in moderation. It will be fun to see your dog’s face when they try this tart treat for the first time - just a head’s up, they may not like it! Keep the quantity limited. You can go with fresh or dried, but with a few caveats:

  • For dried cranberries, make sure there are no raisins, grapes, or currants in the blend. These are toxic to dogs. Also make sure that there are no added sugars (there usually is!)
  • For fresh cranberries, you’ll need to serve them plain - without sugar. We typically prepare cranberry sauce with added ingredients and sugar, which your dog should not have.

6. Pumpkin: Perfect for Pups

Pumpkin is a superfood for dogs, and it's readily available during the Thanksgiving season. It can help with digestion, and also promotes skin & coat health. A small spoonful of plain pumpkin can be a delightful addition to your dog's Thanksgiving meal. If you are serving canned pumpkin, make sure it’s just plain pumpkin and not the pre-seasoned pumpkin pie mix.

7. Apples: Crisp and Crunchy

Apples are a healthy and crunchy snack that many dogs enjoy. Ensure you remove the seeds and core before offering them to your pup. If you are cooking them, make sure to serve your dog plain apples without added sugar.

8. Tasty Dog Treats: A Special Touch

Finally, the last and more cherished part of the Thanksgiving feast - dessert. Unfortunately, most of the popular Thanksgiving desserts are sugary pies and treats that are not healthy for your pup. However, Natural Farm’s Natbones or Anchovy Treats would be the perfect way to end the day! Natbones contain superfoods that aid in digestion, and anchovies provide a healthy source of protein. If you’re looking to keep your dog busy while you clean up (and prevent them from helping you clean up), stock up on some Bully Sticks or long-lasting chews. Remember, while these Thanksgiving foods can be shared with your dog, moderation is key. Overindulging in rich foods can lead to digestive upset. Enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving with your pup, and may it be filled with love, laughter, and delicious, dog-friendly delights!