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

November 20, 2020


While this Thanksgiving is a little different, it is still one of our favorite national holidays. Many will say it is because of all the delicious food. As pet parents, we are very thankful for our fur-babies 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. Read this before you do to be sure you know what is safe for your fur-baby to give them: 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 to 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!

Yes! These Thanksgiving Foods You CAN Give Your 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 list. There are too many sweet ingredients in this dish that will upset your dog’s tummy. Canned yams are also on the banned list.

Pumpkin, Canned

Dogs can enjoy canned pumpkin, just not in the yummy, delicious pie form. Canned pumpkin is not sugary and spicy with ingredients that are not good for your fur-baby, such as pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg and if your dog is lactose intolerant, condensed milk will also upset their stomachs. Canned pumpkin 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 treat 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 a low-calorie, high-fiber snack for dogs and make them feel more full.

No! Thanksgiving Foods You SHOULD NOT Give Your Dog:


The spices in this delicious dish make 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 the fruit cake.


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

Festive decorations

This really isn’t a 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.

Additional Resources

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

Here is an additional resources for food you can give your dog: Which Thanksgiving Foods are Safe for Dogs? 

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! 


Get Your Arthritis in Dogs eBook