Dog sitting next to a pumpkin.

Dog Health

October 18, 2022

Thanksgiving Food Safety List for Your Dog

If we had to pick a dog’s favorite holiday, it would most definitely be Thanksgiving! I mean, who could blame them? There’s a big table filled with the biggest amount of food they’ve ever seen! Unfortunately though, every year there are many vet visits on and around this day due to non-safe Thanksgiving food being fed to dogs. 

Before you give your dog a snack from the table, check out the list below of safe Thanksgiving food for dogs plus a list of Thanksgiving foods you should avoid altogether! 

Dog sitting next to a pumpkin.

Safe Thanksgiving Food For Dogs:​

  1. Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are a great and healthy snack for dogs! Sweet potatoes are filled with fiber, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and beta-carotene! Make sure that you’re giving your dog a plain sweet potato without anything added!
  2. Apples: Do dogs eat apples? Absolutely! When it comes to sharing apples with your dog, do not give them the core or seeds since the core can be a choking hazard and the seeds are toxic to dogs. 
  3. Green Beans: Ever heard of the green bean diet for dogs from your vet? Plain green beans are a great healthy snack for dogs that are filled with plant fiber and Vitamins C and K! Even though green bean casserole is a favorite at the table, keep your dog away from it! Like other items in this list, serving each item plain is the best way to keep your dog safe.
  4. Peas: Can dogs eat peas? Yes! The safest way to give peas to your dog is to stick with frozen peas for dogs, as they do not have the added salt or seasonings that canned peas do. Also, make sure to stay away from creamed peas. All of the fat can upset your dog’s stomach.
  5. Pumpkin: Plain pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie) is a great snack for dogs. There are many health benefits of pumpkin for dogs including digestive health and it helps their skin and coat!
  6. Turkey: According to this article from the American Kennel Club, Thanksgiving turkey is safe for dogs as long as you avoid the bones, skin and stuffing since these parts “have additional spices, butter, and other ingredients that are too rich for dogs and can cause pancreatitis or other digestive ailments.” 

Non-Safe Thanksgiving Food For Dogs:

Below is a list of all of the Thanksgiving foods that are not safe for dogs. You might know many of these already, but if you have a dog that loves to make a break for the table the second anyone is gone, make sure you have all of these items picked up:

  1. Stuffing Casseroles: Stuffing and casseroles usually contain some of the other items found in this list (see below) that can be not safe for dogs.
  2. Turkey Bones and Skin: Turkey skin can have unsafe seasonings, and bones, even cooked, can splinter and/or get stuck in your dog’s digestive system.
  3. Gravy: Gravy contains too much fat and can cause gastrointestinal distress to your dog.
  4. Ham: This protein is extremely high in fat, which, with too much, can lead to pancreatitis in dogs. It’s better to stick with other, healthier options.
  5. Desserts (especially ones with chocolate): All forms of chocolate and added sweeteners and sugar are toxic to dogs. If you see the word Xylitol, stay away from it!
  6. Garlic, Onions, Leeks, Shallots, Scallions, and Chives: All of these can cause the breakdown of red blood cells, which can result in anemia in dogs.
  7. Uncooked Bread Dough: Uncooked bread dough can cause intense bloating from the dough rising after being ingested. It can also lead to alcohol poisoning from the fermentation of the yeast.
  8. Grapes and Raisins: Both grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs and can lead to sudden kidney failure. Always keep these away from your dogs at all times!
  9. Corn On the Cob: Corn off of the cob is safe for your dog in moderation. When altogether, the cob becomes a choking hazard.
  10. Mashed Potatoes: Mashed potatoes are filled with butter and other non-safe seasonings and spices. Stick with plain potatoes or sweet potatoes to be as safe as possible!

Dog sitting in a corn field.

Bonus Thanksgiving Dog Safety Tips

Before we go, here are two more tips to keep your dog safe this Thanksgiving:

Tip 1: Make sure to keep your trash can in a safe place throughout the holiday. Even if you’ve kept your dog away from the table all night, their nose might find some scraps that were left unattended!

Tip 2: If you’ve got a super sneaky dog that you can’t trust by the table, set up your indoor dog gate and keep them away from that side of the house! Not only will this keep your dog safe, but your guests, along with yourself, will be able to enjoy the meal in peace!

We hope this list was extremely helpful. If you loved learning more, share it with a friend! Let’s all keep our dogs safe this Thanksgiving holiday!