What Thanksgiving Food Is Safe For Dogs To Eat?

By Roxi & Huck •  Updated: 11/16/20 •  3 min read

Our dogs enjoy Thanksgiving dinner food as much as our family, maybe even more. It is a day when they get to eat human food and not just from under the dinner table. We always wondered what Thanksgiving food is safe for our three dogs to eat. So, we went on a journey to find out.

One of the things that we found was that visits to the vet seemed to increase after Thanksgiving. This concerned us but wanted to know why. We found that dogs don’t handle fatty foods like turkey skin can cause pancreatitis in all dogs. The use of butter and spices when cooking the bird also is not healthy for your dog.

Other causes were sweets, seeds, and turkey bones being fed to dogs. Often it was the dog stealing the items off the table or out of the trash. Apple seeds from cores can be toxic for dogs if consumed in large quantities.

Thanksgiving Food Safe For Dogs

puppy holding thanksgiving basket in it's mouth
Just about all the food basics are safe for our dogs to eat as long as all the condiment goodies are left off. Things like butter, sour cream, salt, pepper, brown sugar, onions, and anything made with alcohol should not be given to the dogs to eat.

Turkey meat without the bones and skins is perfectly fine for dogs as long as there is no seasoning on the meat after the skin is removed. Your dog will absolutely love the turkey. Try to mix in vegetables to the meat but avoid the gravy as it is typically spiced up and very different from gravy prepared specifically for dogs.

Give your dog servings of green beans, sweet potatoes, and yams. Just make sure there is no brown sugar, marshmallows, or butter. Dogs’ stomachs prefer plain food. Us humans are the ones who prefer to fancy up our foods. Apples without any seeds are good as are plain peas and pumpkin. Make sure, however, that the pumpkin is the canned spiced pie mix. They can only eat the plain un-spiced canned pumpkin.

Foods To Avoid Serving Your Dog On Thanksgiving

To fully enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner and weekend and keep your dog’s digestive tract happy, take proper precautions. Not only during the dinner but also afterward when the trash can is full of things your dog would love to explore and eat.

The big question we had was about stuffing. Bread is fine for most dogs. Loaves of bread made with a lot of yeast are not. Plain stuffing is good but who makes plain stuffing? It is all the goodies we put in the stuffing that makes it bad for dogs. The American Kennel Club recommends not to serve your dog stuffing at Thanksgiving.

So, what foods are on the No Go list?

Foods that contain spices and made with onions, garlic, and yeast. That includes the green bean casserole! No fatty foods. No ham. Skip the mashed potatoes and stuffing. Leave those for your post-meal snacks.

Keep the pies and those mints out of the dog’s reach. If you must give your dog a dessert go with frozen yogurt or stick to dog treats that are specifically made for dogs.

So, now that you know the Thanksgiving food safe for dogs you and all your 2-legged and 4-legged loved ones can enjoy your feast.


Roxi & Huck

Hello, we're Roxi and Huck. Our passion lies in researching and understanding the compatibility between various dog breeds, both purebred and mixed, and the lifestyles and housing situations of potential owners. We work alongside Mom and Dad to uncover insights that facilitate ideal matches between dogs and their human companions.