When you settle down for Thanksgiving dinner this year, are you planning to include your fur child in the festivities? He’ll no doubt be there anyway, with those sad puppy dog eyes eyeballing that drumstick in Uncle Bob’s hand, wishing hopefully with his little tongue hanging out and tail wagging, on alert for a lick or two of gravy or a dropped morsel or two.
His Own Barksgiving Feast
This year can be different – you can make him his very own Thanksgiving meal and forego the long looks when you don’t slip him a few noms under the table. He is, after all, one of your biggest reasons to be thankful.
So, what should be on his menu?
Dogs’ digestive systems are a little bit different than ours, so you really need to be careful what you give him for his big Thanksgiving Day meal. While it’s tempting to break the “no table scraps” rule just this once, dogs can be sensitive to many of the foods that you gobble up at your annual feast, so sticking to dog-friendly cuisine makes sense. But don’t worry; we’ve got some ideas that’ll make your pooch think you’re a master dog chef and have him licking his bowl clean. And what’s even better, the whole family can eat them!
Doggy Appetizer Ideas
While everyone else is noshing on their favorite appetizers and watching football or scoping out Black Friday sales, have a few extra noms ready for your fur baby too.
Doggone Good Veggie Chips
- 3 rutabagas, peeled, sliced
- 3 sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced
- Tablespoon olive oil
Place slices on a cookie sheet, and bake on 250 degrees F for 3 hours. Cool before serving.
- ½ cup pureed pumpkin
- ½ cup plain nonfat yogurt
Blend pumpkin and yogurt until smooth. Pour into dog’s dish (or yours), or freeze in paper cups for a frozen treat.
- 6 baby carrots
- 6 apple slices
- 6 celery sticks
Top each item with a bit of peanut butter and arrange on a dish.
Main Course for Your Main Canine Squeeze
For the main course, a buffet of favorites awaits your dog, serve him a main entrée with dog-friendly sides you’re serving anyway, such as green beans (dogs love them purreed) or even a few tablespoons of cranberry sauce (opt for low-sugar varieties or make your own). You can also add a serving or two of turkey to his plate, just be sure it’s white meat, has no bones in it, and has the skin and any excess fat trimmed prior to feeding.
Gobble Gobble Medallions
- 6 ounces of white turkey, cooked
- ½ cup chopped carrots
- ½ cup oatmeal
Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place all three ingredients in a food processor. Blend until a smooth consistency. Roll the mixture into small balls, and place them on a cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
- 2 peeled, cored, and sliced apples
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup peas
- ½ cup washed, peeled, and sliced carrots
- 1 pound ground turkey
In a saucepan with a cup of water, place the apple slices and the cinnamon. Bring to a boil, and then cover. Continue to simmer until the apples soften, or around 20 minutes. Remove them from the heat.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a food processor, and puree them until they are a creamy texture. Spoon the mixture into a lightly greased cupcake pan.
Puree the cooled apples. Spoon apples on top each pile of mixture in the cupcake pan.
Bake for 40 minutes at 340 degrees F. Cool, and serve.
Pressed for Time? Don’t Fret
You want to make your canine feel special, but sometimes the holidays are just too overwhelming to cook and bake for your four-footed companion, especially if you’re hosting for a crowd or you have other responsibilities. It’s okay, we’ve all been there. So if this sounds like a whole lot of work, you can always get your fur baby a dinner that’s ready to go from The Dog Bakery’s Barksgiving Dinner.
This year’s Barksgiving Dinner includes all of his tongue-wagging favorites made with recognizable ingredients that you’d use yourself if you were doing the cooking.
Start him off with a few appetizers – including wholesome sweet potato chips and carob and applesauce cookies to whet his appetite.
Move on to the main course – a succulent turkey pot pie made with his favorite parts of the turkey – including the liver and heart – and surrounded in tender veggies and seasonal fruits like cranberries and carrots.
Surround his entrée with a heaping helping of cranberry stuffing and cornbread. Once the meal’s over, move on to dessert (if he can manage another bite) – an individual pumpkin pie for your little pumpkin.
Homemade Love this Barksgiving
Every component on the Barksgiving Dinner is made using wholesome, good-for-him ingredients that you can feel good about - but nothing that you have to worry about making him sick and ruining his (and your) fun.
Picking up a Thanksgiving Dinner for your dog this year (or arranging shipping to your door) leaves you free to focus on him and the rest of your family, but it’s still homemade with love. He’ll never know you didn’t spend hours slaving away to make him his own meal, and you can feel satisfied that you’ve gone the extra mile to ensure he has a happy Turkey Day with noms he’ll love.
Rocky Kanaka is an entrepreneur, pet rescue advocate and dog dad to a rescue boxer named Flip, a blind Cane Corso called Kobe, and a terrier mix named Zoey. He's also a pet chef and owner of The Dog Bakery, which specializes in dog birthday cakes
and fresh baked dog treats. His three dogs can't get enough of the dog cakes and treats!
Lorna Paxton Ladd is a passionate dog lover and enthusiast of The Dog Bakery. She loves spoiling her 3 rescue dogs with dog cakes
and jerky. A 15 year veteran in the pet industry, her aim is to educate pet parents on the best recipes, products, tips and tricks to optimize the human/canine bond. Her favorite product at The Dog Bakery are the customizable dog birthday cakes.