Thanksgiving Feast: What Your Dog Can & Can't Have

November 20, 2023

Thanksgiving will always be a favorite holiday tradition. Family, friends, food, fall weather, and maybe football mean lots of FUN! As pet parents, we are very thankful for our dogs and the impact they have on our lives. Because of that appreciation, you may want to share your delicious Thanksgiving feast with your beloved dog. After all, they are as deserving as we are. Before you give in to those adorable puppy dog eyes pleading for some goodies, be sure to read this to know what is safe for your fur-baby so they have the perfect pet Thanksgiving feast! 

Most of our favorite food at Thanksgiving is high in fat and sugar content. So it should be no surprise when they fall on the do not eat list for our pets. It's most likely too rich and fatty for your dog, which may lead to an upset tummy and unexpected clean-up later. To prevent upset stomachs in your dog, here is what you CAN give them!


What Thanksgiving Foods CAN I give my dog?

Thanksgiving Turkey

As long as it is well-cooked, preferably the breast or white meat of the turkey. But not too much, as the Thanksgiving turkey is prepared with oil and butter which can cause your fur-baby to have an upset tummy. Be sure to remove the skin and never give your dog bones of any kind, but especially turkey bones. Bones can break and get stuck in their throats which is a sure-fire way to end up at the emergency veterinarian clinic.

Sweet Potatoes, Plain

On their own, this healthy root vegetable is a great treat for your dog. Sweet potatoes are high in vitamins and are considered a very healthy treat for adults, children and pets. The best way to serve this to your pet is peeled, cooked and chopped up to mix it in with your dog’s food.

However, sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and brown sugar fall on the DO NOT give your dog list. There are too many sweet ingredients in this dish that will upset your dog’s tummy. Canned yams, another name for it, is also on the banned list.

Pumpkin, Canned

Dogs can enjoy canned pumpkin and some people give them this for added vitamins and fiber in their dog's diets. However, you cannot give your dog pumpkin in the yummy, delicious pie form. Canned pumpkin is not sugary and spicy but what we add to it is what is not good for our fur-babies: pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg and sweetened or condensed milk. Canned pumpkin directly from the can is loaded with fiber and lots of vitamins. It is often recommended by veterinarians to aid with loose stools in ill pets. 

Remember, pumpkin spice won’t make your pet feel nice. Just a teaspoon of plain pumpkin is plenty to make them thankful!

Raw Vegetables

They are wonderful treats for pets. Fresh vegetables are a great addition to any pet diet. Most vegetables are a great snack for dogs, including broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, green beans and sweet potato. My dog particularly loves carrots. And just as sweet potato casserole is off the menu for your pets, so is green bean casserole because of the other ingredients added. Vegetables provide a low-calorie, high-fiber snack for dogs and make them feel more full.

What Thanksgiving Foods Should I not give my dog?


The variety of spices in this delicious dish makes it a banned food from your dog’s plate.

Mashed potatoes

There is just too much of a good thing in mashed potatoes with all the additions of butter and milk. This will upset your dog’s tummy.


The plain kind will be too tart for your dog or cat. They wouldn’t eat them in this form. When you add, sugar, liquor and raisins to your cranberry dish it becomes toxic for your dog. Always avoid anything with raisins, including fruit cake.


Depending on the type of chocolate and the amount, there is a variety of concerns. This deserves an article all to itself. Check out what we covered in our recent article here.

Festive decorations

Decorations come out and they aren't food, but your dog (or cat) might think it is. Part of the season is bringing in the addition of decorations into the home. It can be in the form of a centerpiece of flowers, plants, poinsettias, lilies and a Christmas tree – all are not edible, and even toxic, for your dog or cat.

What is the best way to show your fur-baby you are thankful to them? As always, showing them lots of love is the best way! 


Also read our blog: Top Foods Poisonous to Dogs

If you would like to cook something special for your fur-baby, check out some of these great pet-specific recipes here!  



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