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Safe Thanksgiving Treats for Your Dog: What Foods Can You Share?

As Thanksgiving approaches, the temptation to share our festive feast with our furry friends can be strong. However, it's crucial to exercise caution and select foods wisely to ensure the safety and well-being of our canine companions. 

Beyond the obvious hazards like turkey bones and onion-filled stuffing, there are other potentially harmful choices, including fatty and salty dishes or those containing raisins, grapes, and other known toxins for dogs. 

Despite these risks, there are still some healthy options from the Thanksgiving table that can be shared with our pets in moderation.

Safe thanksgiving food for your dog

The following safe Thanksgiving foods have received the approval of expert vets and dog trainers:

  • Sweet Potatoes: These are rich in dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. Opt for plain mashed sweet potatoes without added sugars or toppings.
  • Potatoes: Boiled or baked potatoes, excluding those whipped with butter, cream, onions, or garlic, can be a suitable treat for your dog.
  • Apples: Packed with vitamins A and C, apples are a healthy option. However, remove the core as apple seeds can be toxic. Fresh sliced apples or apple-cinnamon dog cookies are safe choices.
  • Turkey Meat (no bones, no skin): While offering turkey meat is permissible, it should be unseasoned. Avoid giving dogs turkey bones or skin, as the skin can be fatty and seasoned, potentially causing digestive issues.
  • Green Beans: Plain green beans, high in plant fiber, manganese, and vitamins C and K, are a wholesome addition to a dog's diet.
  • Peas: Plain peas are fine in moderation, but avoid creamed peas or any fatty food.
  • Pumpkin: A healthy snack that supports digestive health, skin, and coat. Choose pure pumpkin puree without added spices or sugar.

No apples and pumpkin for your dog

When it comes to dessert, consider offering your dog frozen plain yogurt blended with pumpkin puree or pumpkin dog cookies for a sweet treat.

On the flip side, there is a list of Thanksgiving foods that should be strictly avoided to prevent potential harm to dogs. Dr. Richter, Dr. Ochoa, Dr. Klein, and the AVMA caution against sharing the following with dogs:

Foods that your dog should not eat

  • Turkey bones, skin, and gravy
  • Stuffing
  • Casseroles
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Creamed peas
  • Chocolate, cookies, pies, and sweets (as well as anything “sugar-free” or containing xylitol, which can be fatal for dogs)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Raisins and grapes
  • Onions, scallions, and garlic
  • Ham
  • Yeast dough
  • Fatty foods
  • Foods containing spices

No chocolate for your dog

To ensure a safe Thanksgiving for your dog, be vigilant about what is shared and properly secure trash to prevent any post-meal mishaps. In case of emergency, contact the Pet Poison Helpline or your local emergency vet offering after-hours services.