Can Your Dog Indulge in Thanksgiving Treats?

dog begging at table

It’s the season for giving thanks. This year has brought so many challenges, and many will observe Thanksgiving in different ways in 2020. But we hope that however you celebrate, you do it with a beloved pup by your side. And if you don’t have one…consider adopting before the year comes to a close!

However you celebrate, chances are your pup will be hoping that you’ll share your Thanksgiving food. But beware, because many foods can be harmful for our dogs. While basic vegetables and lean meats are okay, keep the pumpkin pie for humans only.

Before indulging your pet this year, follow our 10 holiday food tips to keep your dog safe this Thanksgiving.



Adding turkey to your dog’s diet is a great way to add protein, but make sure you remove excess fat and skin off before giving it to your dog. Don’t give your dog turkey bones to chew on. They can be swallowed, splinter, or cause digestive tract obstructions.

Plain vegetables

Carrots, green beans, and sweet potatoes are all great foods for dogs. When you’re preparing these items, set aside a small portion that will remain plain to serve them. It’s all the extras we add to the vegetables that can be bad news for dogs.


A bit of a roll or small piece of bread is okay for your dog, assuming she do not have a gluten intolerance. However, plain turkey and vegetables are healthier options for your dog.



Although some vegetables are good for dogs, added ingredients like onions, garlic, creams, and some spices are not. In general, diary is not good for a dog. However, if you know that your dog can handle small amounts of dairy, you may be able to give her a little mashed potatoes with dairy in it. The key here is very small amounts IF your dog is okay with dairy.


Stuffing can contain ingredients like onions, leeks, scallions, garlic, or raisins that are toxic or irritating to a pet’s digestive system. It’s best to avoid giving your dog stuffing altogether.

Any food item with Xylitol

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener and is very harmful to dogs, potentially deadly. Be sure to read labels on items like cranberry sauce, gravies, and desserts in general to check for Xylitol.


Chocolate is well-known for being harmful for dogs, but other desserts like pumpkin pie should also be avoided. Plain pumpkin is often given to dogs to help with regularity, but the spices and creams in pumpkin pie make it more harmful than helpful. Again, look for fake sweeteners like Xylitol when offering desserts to your dog.


Share small portion sizes.

Just like us humans, our dogs can feel sluggish and yucky if they eat too much. When you share food with your dog, make sure it’s a small amount.

Watch for signs your dog indulged in a harmful treat:

If your dog snuck a treat or someone gave him food that is toxic, look for signs like vomiting or gagging, painful abdomen, lack of appetite, lethargy, changes in typical behavior, diarrhea and constipation.

What do you do if you see the signs above?

Take your pup to the vet. If your regular vet is closed, there may be a 24-hour vet clinic to visit. The vet will assess the situation and decide the best course of treatment, whether it is inducing vomiting to remove the substance or removing it through endoscopy.

The best way to show your dog love on Thanksgiving is to share plain vegetables and lean meats in small portion sizes. Be sure to get outside and enjoy your day with your dog..and your human family!

If you love dogs, you can help right now.

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