What Thanksgiving Foods Can Dogs Eat?

Gobble, gobble, gobble – it’s turkey time!

If you’re getting as excited about the Thanksgiving feast as we are here at Zesty Paws®, you might also be wondering what festive food you can share with your bestie.

When your house starts to fill with all those sumptuous smells, you know they’ll be drooling at some of it! And who can blame them?

Giving pets hooman food is tricky because some of our yummiest delights are dodgy for our canine companions. However, some food is fine in moderation.

So, what Thanksgiving foods can dogs eat? We’ve taken a look at four of the most paw-pular food items to give you the answers you’re looking for. 

Can My Dog Eat Turkey?

Yes! A taste of turkey will keep Fido’s tail just a waggin’!

But, be careful what you share. Cooked bones are a no-no, since they’re brittle and splinter easily, which may hurt your pup’s tummy or become a choking hazard. Remember, some dogs tend to gulp food down or only partly chew it, so bone-free precautions are key.

Avoid fat at all costs, too. Turkey skin or fatty bits of meat may lead to diarrhea (ugh) or other “not-so-Zesty” tummy troubles.

Instead, feed them nice slices of white or dark meat cooked thoroughly and with no seasoning. Yum!

What Thanksgiving foods can dogs eat

Can My Dog Eat Sweet Potato?

Who doesn’t love sweet potato casserole? So good! But all the (lovely) brown sugar, butter, and marshmallows isn’t good for our furry faves.

However, that doesn’t mean sweet potatoes are on the ‘no’ list. You just have to keep it simple.

After it’s cooked, mash the sweet potato up and serve it as-is – either with sliced turkey or by swirling it into their pet food. They’ll love the natural, sweet taste, and it’s good for them in careful moderation.

You can also make easy dog treats with this tasty tuber. We even have a recipe for you from an earlier blog post. Check it out!

Can My Dog Eat Gravy?

After we remove the turkey from the oven, we all make that delicious gravy from the drippings in the pan. Gotta have it!

But what makes it taste so good to us can often make it unsuitable for our pets.

For starters, there’s that fat, which we know isn’t good. Then there’s all the other stuff we normally add to the gravy, like butter, flour, herbs, seasonings, onions, and garlic. Whew... that’s a lot!

As you may have guessed, none of those are good for our doggos. So, while just a tiny taste smeared on the turkey might seem harmless, your dog’s tummy might beg to differ later.

But that doesn’t mean they have to miss out. You can buy or make gravy that’s light on ingredients and okay for pets to eat. Just don’t go overboard!

can my dog eat gravy

Can My Dog Eat Cranberries?

Given in small amounts, the answer to this is technically yes. But the American Kennel Club (AKC) warns us it can also be no. Hmm... how so?

“Cranberries are not toxic for dogs,” says the AKC. “When fed in moderation, they are generally safe and may even have some health benefits. Like many human foods, however, cranberries do pose some risks for dogs.”

The AKC says cranberries may cause queasy stomachs if dogs are given too many. They also point out that dried cranberries often come with other dried fruits, such as raisins which are very toxic to dogs. 

Plus, cranberry sauce or jelly are also a no-go due to all the sugar, alcohol, and other ingredients that could be loaded in it. 

Although us hoomans can’t resist a dollop of cranberry with our turkey, it’s probably best not to feed it to our pets. They probably won’t love its often-tart flavor anyway. 

Alternative Treats 

What Thanksgiving foods can dogs eat? We have more suggestions! If your dog eats veggies, they’re often a better alternative to cranberries. Some veggies you might be preparing for Thanksgiving that your pups can eat are:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Pumpkin

Serve them gently cooked and plain…no butter, guys!

Our article, Best Thanksgiving Dog Treats in 2022, gives you some paw-licious ideas for alternative goodies for your fur babies. Why not try some of these, too.

Just remember not to give them too much! 

Foods to Avoid

As you can already tell, dogs can’t eat a lot of food we love. Even table scraps alone can make them feel yucky!

That’s why it’s good to know what foods to avoid – not just at Thanksgiving, but year-round. 

The Pet Poison Helpline, the AKC, and the ASPCA all have lists of things dogs shouldn’t eat, but here are some of the main ones:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Fruit pits such as cherry, peach, and apricot
  • Chocolate
  • Cooked bones
  • Fatty meat
  • Grapes, raisins, and currants
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions and garlic
  • Salty snacks
  • Sugar
  • Tomatoes
  • Xylitol – an artificial sweetener found in many foods
  • Yeast dough

Be Prepared!

Thanksgiving is a special day for all of us. It’s an excellent time for making memories and amazing meals with our nearest and dearest – including our four-legged family members. 

So, knowing which foods are safe for your fur-baby can help you keep the festivities going without a hitch.

In the event that your pup gets their paws on anything they shouldn’t eat, keep these numbers handy:

Let’s Hear From You!

Did we help you learn more about what Thanksgiving foods can dogs eat? We certainly hope so!

So, what do you feel about feeding people food to pups? Have you had any bad experiences you’d like to share to warn others? Or tell us what foods your pooches love to eat and do well on. It’s great hearing from all of you paw-some pet moms and dads out there, so go ahead and write to us in the comment box below.

We’re always here for you, too! Let us know if you have any additional questions or want to learn more about our range of products. It might also be a good time of year to check out all our probiotic supplements! You can reach out to our Customer Care Specialists directly at 1-800-738-0661 or bark@zestypaws.com.

We also love it when you share photos of your besties living their zestiest lives! Join the fun and add them to our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest pages using #ZestyPaws.

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