The joyful Thanksgiving season is here and most pet owners would put their dog at the top of their list of things they’re grateful for. So it’s natural to want to share the yummy delights of this holiday with your canine companion. But in order to have a truly safe Thanksgiving dinner for dogs, you need to have a menu of dog-friendly Thanksgiving food and know some of the dangers presented by this holiday celebration.
What Can Dogs Eat on Thanksgiving?
The good news is that there are plenty of delicious and dog-safe Thanksgiving foods! Many of the traditional courses, when prepared correctly, can be fed to your dog. Because the human Thanksgiving menu often includes added sodium and sugar, it’s best to make a dog-specific Thanksgiving feast to share with your pet. Our four-course Paw CBD Thanksgiving menu, featuring ways to incorporate CBD oil for dogs in several courses, includes:
- Baked sweet potatoes
- Turkey meat
- Green beans
- CBD treats for dessert
First Course: Baked Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes hold a special spot on the Thanksgiving table, but the typical holiday dish that’s mashed with butter and salt or covered in toasted marshmallows is not a good choice for your dog – too much added sugar and salt. But Fido can still join you in the carb-laden fun!
Sweet potatoes are a totally safe vegetable for dogs and they even provide a number of vitamins and nutrients that will benefit your animal. It’s very important that you only serve fully cooked potatoes to your dog, as raw potatoes can be poisonous. You can simply prick a sweet potato with a fork and stick it in the microwave for several minutes to get it nice and soft. Scrape the flesh out of the peel and make sure it’s cooled before serving it.
Second Course: Green Beans
Green bean casserole is a popular side dish for many Americans on Thanksgiving, but such casseroles often have less healthy items included, like cornflakes or condensed soup. Avoid giving this dish directly to your dog from the Thanksgiving table. Instead, steam some fresh green beans or warm up some no-sodium canned green beans for your dog-friendly Thanksgiving meal.
These low-cal, fiber-rich veggies are excellent for your dog’s health. Just make sure they are cooked through and cut up into reasonable bites so your pooch can eat them safely.
Third Course: Turkey Meat
No safe Thanksgiving dinner for dogs would be complete without a serving of turkey. When you bring out the big dish of meat for the human table, you can give some turkey slices to your dog, too – just make sure their serving doesn’t include any bones and hasn’t been drenched in seasonings. Because most seasonings and salt are concentrated in the skin of the turkey, most veterinarians recommend leaving the skin off of your pooch’s turkey serving. No need to prepare a separate dish for your pet in this case, just be careful about the plate you prepare for them.
Once the turkey comes out, the Thanksgiving dinner party is probably in full swing and your dog might appreciate a little calming support. This works out well, because fruity flavors complement turkey so well, and our calming CBD oil comes in a blueberry flavor. While the people put cranberry sauce on their turkey meat, your pooch can have a little blueberry CBD oil for dogs on hers!
Dog Treats for Thanksgiving Dessert!
End your dog's Thanksgiving meal on a sweet note with any number of delicious CBD treats for dogs. A crunchy peanut butter flavored treat is a perfect dessert choice to top off your dog’s Thanksgiving meal.
Another option would be to make some homemade CBD treats for dogs while you’re baking your pumpkin pie or other Thanksgiving desserts. You can incorporate canned pumpkin, baked sweet potato, or even frozen yogurt into your pet’s Thanksgiving CBD dessert.
Some Classic Thanksgiving Foods That Aren’t Dog-Safe
While it’s exciting to share your holiday meal with your pet, it’s important that dog owners watch out for the many foods on the Thanksgiving table that are not safe for your dog to eat. These include:
- Grapes and raisins
- Stuffings and casseroles or other prepared dishes
- Onions, garlic, and scallions
- Fatty and salty foods
- Chocolate or other desserts, especially those that are artificially sweetened
If you have guests over for the Thanksgiving meal or attend a meal at someone else’s house with your pet, make sure that everyone knows the rules about what foods your pet should not eat. Better yet, ask folks not to feed human food to your dog and be the sole chef for your dog’s Thanksgiving meal.
Grapes and Raisins Are Toxic for Dogs
Grapes are extremely dangerous for your dog’s health because they can cause acute kidney failure. You might find grapes in a pre-dinner charcuterie board or even included in salads and other dishes on the Thanksgiving table, so make sure your pet is well-monitored when grapes are being served up as snacks. Likewise, raisins (which are just dried grapes, often with sugar added) are a popular addition to salads, stuffings, and many other dishes for Thanksgiving. These should be avoided as well.
Stuffings and Casseroles Probably Have Unsafe Ingredients
Prepared dishes like stuffing and casseroles usually have a long ingredient list that often contains at least one (if not many) foods that are unsafe for dogs. They are also often high in fat, salt, and sometimes sugar. While one bite of a dense, unhealthy food might not present a direct threat to your pet’s health, giving foods like this to your dog consistently can cause them to gain weight or spike their blood sugar and cause future health issues. It’s best to just avoid giving your pet a bite of these multi-ingredient dishes.
Onions, Garlic, and Scallions Are Not Safe for Dogs
Onions, garlic, and scallions are common ingredients for Thanksgiving dishes, from the turkey to the gravy to the dressing. These ingredients are part of the allium family, along with chives, leeks, and shallots. All alliums are toxic to canines and can cause anemia.
Because of the prevalence of these foods in American cooking, you need to be extra careful about ensuring your pet doesn’t eat them. While it’s unlikely someone will hand over a garlic clove or bite of raw shallot, it’s much more feasible that your pet might get a bite of a dish that was made with these foods.
Avoid Any Foods High in Fat and Salt
Thanksgiving is meant to be an indulgent time, which means there are likely many fatty and salty dishes on your Thanksgiving table. This is fine for people, especially for a holiday, but additional fat and salt in your dog’s diet is unnecessary and doesn’t support their health. Their physiology isn’t the same as ours and they process excess fat and salt differently. Plus, your dog will enjoy a plain, unsalted bite of baked sweet potato just as much as a buttery, salted bite. The extra fat and salt don’t improve your dog’s experience or their health, so just leave them off the doggy menu.
No Chocolate or Artificially Sweetened Desserts
At dessert time, dog owners need to be extra diligent to make sure their pet doesn’t get any chocolate desserts or any human desserts at all. Processed sugar shouldn’t be given to dogs, and almost all Thanksgiving desserts will have high amounts of sugar.
If you have desserts that are made sugar-free or for diabetics, those should be avoided at all costs as well. Xylitol, a common sugar substitute, is extremely dangerous to dogs and has been known to be fatal. Stick to dog-specific treats for dessert during your Thanksgiving dinner for dogs.
Bonus Recipes for a Dog Thanksgiving Meal
Our four-course menu keeps it super simple because we know most chefs are already super busy around the Thanksgiving holiday. If you have some extra time and are inspired to whip up some dog-specific recipes for the feast, here are a few ideas:
- Frozen turkey dinner treats
- Pumpkin peanut butter balls
- Cranberry cookies
Frozen Turkey Dog Dinner Treats
If your pooch is a fan of ice cubes – we all know that dog that dutifully appears beneath the ice dispenser when they hear it rumbling – then these all-in-one Thanksgiving dinner cubes will be perfect for your pet to enjoy during the holiday celebration. Simply chop up some cooked peas and cooked sweet potato and place them in the sections of a muffin tin. Then cover each muffin cup with turkey stock (make sure there is no salt added to the stock). Place the tin in the freezer for a couple of hours and voila – a chewy, cold, dog-friendly Thanksgiving food.
Feel free to mix up the included veggies, too – maybe broccoli and white potato instead of peas and sweet potato. Just make sure the vegetables are cooked before adding them to the muffin tin.
Pooch-Approved Peanut Butter Pumpkin Bites
This sweet and savory Thanksgiving dog treat is easy to whip up and requires no cooking or freezing, so it’s perfect for a last-minute, dog-safe Thanksgiving meal. Simply mix together a quarter cup of peanut butter, a half cup of canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling, which has added sugar), a cup of oats, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Roll the mixture into balls. If you want to throw them in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up, you can, but you can also just go ahead and hand them over to your drooling dog.
Cranberry Cookies for Dogs
Use fresh cranberries left over from your Thanksgiving cranberry sauce to make these yummy, fruity, crunchy cookies for your dog. These require the oven, so preheat it to 350 degrees.
Mix together half a cup of applesauce, 1 cup of flour, half a teaspoon of cinnamon, and two tablespoons of milk. Then stir in half a cup of chopped fresh cranberries. You could also add in a drizzle of unflavored CBD oil if you want these cookies to be part of your pet’s daily CBD routine.
You can roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut the cookies into shapes, or simply roll the dough into balls. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the shape and thickness of your cookies. Be sure to let the cookies cool before feeding them to your dog.
Keep Your Pet Safe and Healthy with Thanksgiving Dinner for Dogs
By being prepared with a few recipes and dog-safe Thanksgiving foods, and knowing exactly what your dog shouldn’t eat on this holiday, you can ensure your pet stays healthy and happy. If your pet needs a little extra support, CBD for dogs is a great wellness resource to introduce into the menu of the fun foods you’ll be making for your pet on Thanksgiving. However you decide to approach the holiday meal with your dog, your pet will surely appreciate being included in the festivities.