Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate all that you’re grateful for. It’s for gathering with loved ones around the table and enjoying a feast filled with all your favorite foods. Of course, if you have a dog or two, they’ll probably want to be part of the celebration too! And who isn’t thankful for their canine friends?
While it’s tempting to slip them a little food from your plate — especially since they are so very good at guilting you with those big, sweet puppy dog eyes – you have to be careful. Many of our holiday favorites are actually dangerous for dogs. Vet clinics around the country usually see an uptick in pancreatitis, food poisoning and blockages after the holidays – usually caused by loving pet parents slipping their dogs some tasty treats off of their plates.
But don’t fret! There are many traditional holiday favorites that are actually safe for dogs — just without the added fat, sugar, or spices you might include on yours.
Here are a few foods you can slip your pup on Thanksgiving, worry-free.
No, you shouldn’t feed your dog pumpkin pie, but plain pumpkin is actually good for dogs. It can help with a number of digestive issues – something we can all use after stuffing our faces, I’m sure. Just make sure you pick up pumpkin with no added sugars and give it to your dog straight. Trust me, they’ll love it! Or you can mix it with some plain yogurt and freeze it to make them a special frozen treat.
Again, skip the brown sugar, butter, and pecans, and you’ll be fine. Plain sweet potatoes are good for dogs, so scoop a little into Fido’s bowl and let them enjoy it the way nature intended – au natural!
Mmm, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a moist, juicy turkey, now would it? And if you want your dog to indulge in the main course as well, you can let them have a few small pieces. But no bones (cooked bones can cause deadly blockages) or fat. Make sure to remove the skin and any fat as they can cause pancreatitis. And be sure you only give them a small bit. Portion control is important since overdoing it could make your dog sick.
Prepare crudites for your pup with baby carrots and celery — a treat dogs love to munch on. And best of all, it’s safe for them!
See? It is possible to share some of your favorite treats with your pup. But also consider the following list…
Things to NOT feed your dog, under any circumstances whatsoever.
Whatever type of nut you’re eating or putting in your dish, it doesn’t matter. Keep them away from your pooch. Nuts are actually pretty toxic for dogs and could send you to the emergency vet if they eat too much. And sometimes, it doesn’t take much. Macadamia nuts are especially worrisome and it should be treated as an emergency if your dog ingests them.
Note: peanuts are safe as they’re actually not a nut, but a legume!
Enjoy your green bean casserole all you want. But make sure your dog doesn’t get a single bite of it. Onions can cause gastrointestinal upset, but even more dangerous than that, it can cause hemolytic anemia — condition that causes your dog’s red blood cells to burst. Yikes.
Fat or oils.
Butter, oils or fatty meats can be a big problem for dogs. Pancreatitis is something most of us don’t even think about, but it can be deadly for your pooch. And the main cause of pancreatitis? Feeding your dog human food that’s high in fat, oils or butter. It’s no joke and it’s fairly common around the holidays, when humans slip food off their plate for their dog.
Most of us should know by now that chocolate is poisonous to dogs — especially dark chocolate and cocoa powder. So keep the chocolate pie out of their reach and don’t give in to those sad, puppy dog eyes. If you really can’t imagine your pup going without a chocolatey treat while you indulge, substitute it with carob instead.
Raisins and grapes.
No oatmeal raisin cookies, please. Raisins and grapes are severely toxic to dogs and can cause kidney failure.
So yes, it is possible with some planning to give your dog a delicious Barksgiving Feast as you enjoy your holiday treats. But it will likely require making separate dishes, as no one wants to skimp on the delicious fat, sugar and chocolate in their favorite meals!
Does all of this feel a bit overwhelming?
Perhaps you should play it safe and order a delicious Barksgiving feast from The Dog Bakery instead. The entire meal is safe for your dog and is handmade with love in our bakeries in Southern California That way, you don’t have to worry that you're feeding your dog the wrong thing or the guilt that you’ll undoubtedly feel when your dog watches you eat. They’ll have their own delicious, dog-friendly feast to be thankful for!
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.