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.

Whether you plan on sharing a special Thanksgiving dinner with your dog, dressing her up in a special Thanksgiving outfit, or tossing a few extra special treats his way, we’ve got you covered!

Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Dogs

What can I give my dog for Thanksgiving?

Some holiday foods can be dangerous and even toxic for your dog, so be very careful with what you share. In general, if your dog usually eats kibble, 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.

Here are 9 foods that you can share with your dog:

  • Turkey: plain, no gravy, no butter, no grease, no bones!
  • Mashed Potatoes: plain, no cheese, butter, garlic, or onions.
  • Cranberry Sauce: no sugar is best
  • Green Beans: raw or cooked, no onion, butter, or creamy sauce
  • Sweet Potatoes: plain, no marshmallows or sugar
  • Apples: no seeds or core
  • Carrots: cooked or raw carrots (these are my dog’s favorite veggie!)
  • Pumpkin: only pure pumpkin, no pumpkin pie. Learn why pumpkin is 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. Raw diet for dogs is rising in popularity.

What can dogs NOT eat on Thanksgiving?

As hard as it may be, it’s important not to feed your dog foods that will make him sick. Many of the Thanksgiving foods that we think are delicious may not agree with your dog’s digestive system. Use this list of foods as a guideline:

  • No fatty or greasy foods. 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. Small amounts of garlic are okay. 
  • 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 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

Special Dog Thanksgiving Treats

If you want to make homemade treats, I have a pumpkin/apple frozen dog treat recipe you can easily make today. You can also pick up a can of organic pumpkin puree at the grocery store. Or better yet, order organic air-dried pumpkin by Native Pet. We are having fun making up new recipes for the dogs and they are loving it!

Want something easier? I found these yummy Thanksgiving dog treats that your dog is going to love! 

  1. Riley’s Organic Pumpkin & Coconut Bone Dog Treats
  2. The Lazy Dog Cookie Co. Leftover Turkey Sandwich Turkey & Sweet Potato Dog Treats
  3. Spot Farms Turkey Meatball Recipe with Cranberries Dog Treats
  4. Plato Real Strips Turkey With Cranberry Dog Treats
  5. Vita Bone Artisan Inspired Dog Biscuit Treats, Natural Turkey Stuffing & Cranberry
  6. AFreschi Turkey Tendon for Dogs
  7. Delightfully Delicious Dog Treats All Natural Oven-Baked Dog Treats With Organic Pumpkin
  8. Farmland Traditions USA Made 3 lbs. Turkey, Sweet Potato, Cranberry Soft Jerky Bite Dog Treats

Adorable Dog Thanksgiving Outfits

If you enjoy dressing up your dog in outfits, then these Thanksgiving finds are going to be your sweet spot! Choose from these cute bandanas, collars, sweaters, and more:

Thanksgiving dog turkey vest dress
Photo credit: Etsy seller SofiandFriends
Thanksgiving dog football outfit
Photo credit: Etsy seller babyandbark
Thanksgiving dog outfit bandana and tutu
Photo credit: Etsy seller PatienceWayShop
Thanksgiving dog harness
Photo credit: Etsy seller Pawzly
matching Thanksgiving dog bandana and face mask
Photo credit: Etsy seller StitchyStitchDesigns
Thanksgiving dog bandana gobble
Photo credit: Etsy seller 2PawfectFriends

Thanksgiving Travel Tips for Dogs

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 need to leave your dog with a sitter, 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.

If you are taking your dog with, some items to consider bringing along are:

  • crate for a safe place for your dog to sleep or just get away from the commotion
  • leash so you can take him outside as needed or just keep him near you since a dog in a new place can easily get into mischief
  • dog food, and any special treats
  • dog bowls for food and water
  • favorite toys or bones to keep him occupied
  • Buy a new fun turkey stuffed toy

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

Recommended just for you to enjoy Thanksgiving with your dog:

About the Author

Debi McKee

Debi McKee is the expert behind Rescue Dogs 101 where she guides you in your journey of adopting and raising a rescue dog every step of the way. She is a mom of 3 human kids and 4 dogs and volunteers for a local dog rescue and Humane Society. Click here for more about Debi and her passion for helping you and your dog.

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  1. This is a great post! Will help a lot of people to understand better their dog’s health and diet. Thanksgiving Travel Tips for Dogs are priceless.

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