Thanksgiving Food Safety Tips for Your Dog

Thanksgiving Food Safety Tips for Your Dog

Thanksgiving is a time to feast and be thankful for everything we are blessed with… from family to health, to our pets. Our dogs are a big part of our family and are always a part of our celebration.

Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Dogs

I am thankful I don’t have to cook Thanksgiving dinner, my sister-in-law takes care of that each year. I am also so very thankful that she invites our dogs to come along with us. Since we live about two hours from each other, it really is too long of a day to leave the dogs home alone. Traveling with your dog can sometimes be a challenge, make sure to be prepared and read 6 Essential Tips when Traveling with Your Dog. And if you aren’t as blessed as us and you need to leave your dog with a sitter, then make sure to download our Dog-Sitter Important Info Form and Checklist, so you can relax and enjoy Thanksgiving, knowing that your dog is in good care back home.

I don’t know about you, but we like to show our dogs how thankful we are to have them in our lives by sharing a few special treats throughout Thanksgiving day.

If you want to share Thanksgiving with your dogs, make sure you know what they can and can NOT eat! Some holiday foods can be very dangerous and even toxic for your dog, so be very careful on what you share.

Top 9 Foods That You Can Share with Your Dog

  • Turkey: plain, no gravy, no butter, no grease, no bones!
  • Mashed Potatoes: just make sure they aren’t filled with cheese, butter, garlic or onions.
  • Cranberry Sauce: no sugar is best
  • Green Beans: raw or cooked without all the butter and creamy sauce
  • Sweet Potatoes: plain, no marshmallows or sugar
  • Apples: no seeds or core
  • Carrots: raw carrots are my dogs favorite veggie!
  • Pumpkin: only pure pumpkin no pumpkin pie. Learn why pumpkin is actually a superfood.
  • Turkey Heart and Liver: don’t throw away the turkey heart and liver! These are high in nutrients for your dog. You can feed them RAW to your dog, if that grosses you out, then you can cook them. But a fresh, raw diet for dogs is rising in popularity.

What NOT to feed your dog on Thanksgiving:

  • No foods that are fatty or greasy. While turkey is safe for your dog to eat if it’s drowning in butter or grease, take a pass.
  • No foods that have onions or garlic. Small amounts aren’t going to kill your dog but could make his belly upset. Large amounts of onions and garlic can be toxic.
  • No ham, it is too fatty and salty for dogs
  • No Stuffing, too much butter, mushrooms, onions. Nothing in stuffing is healthy for your dog!
  • No Pumpkin Pie, raw pumpkin is actually good for dogs. But once you add the sugar it goes on the no list.
  • No nuts, while there are a few nuts that okay for dogs. In general, it’s safer to skip the nuts altogether. Nuts are high in fat, but a few nuts will not hurt your dog. Macadamia nuts can be toxic to dogs.
  • No grapes or raisins
  • No foods with artificial sweetener, Xylitol
  • No chocolate or sugary baked treats
  • No alcohol

Thanksgiving Food Safety Tips for Your DogDOWNLOAD our quick cheat sheet of these foods to share with your family to make sure you keep your dog safe and healthy throughout the holiday season!


In general, if your dog only eats kibble on a daily basis, keep in mind too much human food at one time can make any belly sick. Share Thanksgiving with your dog in moderation, don’t give him a full bowl of Thanksgiving foods, he will likely get sick just from eating something so different than what he is used to.

If you want to go the extra mile, I found these great recipes from Pet Plan that you can make special for your dog to enjoy on Thanksgiving.

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Not into giving your dog people food?

Here are a few other ways to make Thanksgiving special for your dog:

• Dress him up in this super cute Thanksgiving sweater

• Buy special Thanksgiving can dog food

• Buy a fun turkey stuffed toy

• Pick up a can of pure pumpkin as a treat


Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your dog, and be thankful for the time you have with him! What is your dogs favorite Thanksgiving treat? Share below in the comments.

More important information for  you and your dog:

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About the Author Debi@RescueDogs101

Debi McKee is a mom of three kids, two dogs and the creator of Rescue Dogs 101... were she guides you in your journey of adopting and raising a rescue dog every step of the way. She also volunteers for a local rescue and the Dane County Humane Society. Sign up for our free resource library! It is jam-packed with valuable resources that you will use throughout your journey.... all for FREE!

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