No matter the occasion, you should never feed your dog table scraps. For their own safety, it’s best to keep dogs out of the kitchen and away from the dinner table on Thanksgiving. But that doesn’t mean you can’t top off your dog’s regular meal with a Thanksgiving treat. 

As long as they don’t have food allergies, there are some favorite Thanksgiving foods that dogs can eat in small amounts. However, many human foods can cause severe health issues for dogs, so it’s important to know which foods can be shared and which to avoid. Follow this guide, and you may prevent a trip to the vet over the holidays. 

Four Healthy Thanksgiving Foods Dogs Can Safely Eat

1: Turkey Meat

Dogs can eat a couple of bites of turkey as long as it is cooked and unseasoned. Any added fatty ingredients like butter and gravy can cause pancreatitis and other complications. It’s crucial that you never give your dog turkey bones to chew on, because the sharp pieces can damage their digestive system.  

2: Sweet Potatoes

A small portion of plain, baked sweet potato is an excellent addition to your dog’s diet. Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, which helps your dog’s digestive system run smoothly. They’re also full of other healthy nutrients, like calcium, potassium, iron, and several vitamins. But, like turkey, sweet potatoes are only safe for dogs to eat when they’re unseasoned. If you added butter, sugar, or cinnamon to yours, keep them away from your pet. 

3: Pumpkin

Another nutrient-packed fall favorite that’s safe for dogs to have on Thanksgiving is pumpkin. A couple tablespoons of plain, canned pumpkin can help improve your dog’s digestive system and also give them healthy skin and fur. 

However, pumpkin pie is a big no-no for pets. Sugary desserts like pumpkin pie (including pumpkin pie filling) can cause digestive problems. Dogs can eat a little bit of canned pumpkin as long as it isn’t a pre-spiced pie filling.  

4: Apples

Dogs can also enjoy small portions of chopped, fresh apples. The vitamins and fiber in apples make them a healthy fruit for dogs. Just make sure to cut carefully around the core to avoid letting them eat any seeds, which can be toxic. As with all other human foods, the apples you give your dogs should be free of any toppings. 

Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Dogs

Avoid Toxic Foods

Dogs are notorious for sneaking bites of human food. Make sure your dog stays safe over the holidays by keeping them out of the kitchen while you’re cooking and away from the food table. While some foods may only cause an upset stomach, others are highly toxic, and can have fatal complications. 

If your dog eats any of the following toxic foods or ingredients, visit your emergency vet right away:

  • Turkey bones
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Bread dough
  • Nutmeg
  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Stuffing (typically contains garlic and/or onions)
  • Xylitol (an ingredient typically found in sugar-free products)

Be Careful with Decorations

Some seasonal decorations can also be harmful to your pets. For instance, petunias, sunflowers, poinsettias, and many other plants are toxic to dogs, so keep them out of reach. You should also avoid leaving lighted candles anywhere your dog may be able to knock them over, touch them with their tail when walking by, or otherwise bump into them. 

Keep Them Comfortable

Not all dogs are a fan of visitors or having company over. Keep shy dogs locked up in a crate (if they are crate trained) or in a room with a comfortable place to sleep and their favorite toy. Or you can consider boarding your dog during the festivities. If your dog is a party animal, keep an eye on the exits when people come and go, to ensure your dog doesn’t dash out and get lost. 

Emergency Vet Clinic in Gilbert, Arizona

If your dog eats something they’re not supposed to, it’s important to act quickly. Anasazi Animal Clinic provides emergency veterinary services for pets in and around Gilbert. We’ll examine your dog and provide urgent care so they can recover as quickly as possible. 

We want you and your pets to have a safe and happy Thanksgiving. If you’d like to schedule a wellness exam, just give us a call at 480-497-0505 today. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (11/2/2022). Photo by Oliver on Unsplash