Each Thanksgiving, families across the country gather around the table to enjoy a hearty meal with their loved ones — and that includes furry family members!

But before you let your four-legged friend indulge in the feast, it’s important to know which foods are safe (and which aren’t) for them to eat. In this post, we’ll talk about the dos and don’ts of Thanksgiving pet safety.

THANKSGIVING FOOD DOGS CAN EAT

Thanksgiving is all about family, friends, and food–but is your dog safe around all of that deliciousness?

From turkey to cranberry sauce, there are a lot of Thanksgiving staples that can be dangerous for your pet. Check out our food list to keep your furry friend safe during the holiday!

Turkey Meat

Turkey is safe for dogs to eat, provided it’s cooked with no extra seasoning or spices. However, the skin and bones can pose a choking hazard or cause gastrointestinal issues, so removing them before giving your dog any turkey meat is best.

Mashed Potatoes Without Onions and Garlic

Mashed potatoes are usually safe for dogs, but there are a few things to watch out for.

To start, if your mashed potatoes contain onions or garlic, they can be toxic to dogs and should be avoided. Next, if they’re made with milk or butter, they may give your dog an upset stomach — so it’s best to offer a small amount and see how they respond before giving them too much.

Finally, beware of mashed potatoes that contain raisins or grapes—these fruits can be poisonous to dogs. If in doubt, leave them out!

Cranberry Sauce Without Raisin

Cranberry sauce is another food that is safe for dogs, but there are a few things you should keep in mind.

First, many store-bought brands of cranberry sauce contain large amounts of sugar, which can be bad for dogs. Second, some brands also contain raisins or grapes — as we mentioned before, these fruits can be poisonous to dogs.

So, if you’re going to give your pup some cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving, make sure it’s sugar-free and raisin-free. Otherwise, it’s best to skip it altogether.

THANKSGIVING FOODS YOU SHOULD KEEP AWAY FROM YOUR DOG

While you’re busy stuffing your face with turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving, don’t forget about your furry friend.

Unfortunately, as mentioned above, not all the food we enjoy on Thanksgiving is safe for dogs. Here are five Thanksgiving foods you should avoid feeding your dog.

Turkey Bones, Skin, and Gravy

While the meat of the turkey is perfectly fine for your pup, the bones can splinter and cause choking or even internal punctures. The skin can also be a problem because it’s often full of fat, which can cause pancreatitis in dogs.

Additionally, gravy is high in salt, which can cause dehydration or even an electrolyte imbalance. So it’s best to keep all the turkey-related dishes away from Fido.

Stuffing

Stuffing is another food that can pose a choking hazard to dogs because of the small pieces of bread it contains. It can also be very high in calories and fat, which isn’t good for your dog’s waistline or digestion. So stuff stuffing into your own mouth this Thanksgiving, not your dog’s.

Raisins

Grapes and raisins may seem like harmless snacks, but they can actually be very dangerous for dogs. Even just a few grapes or raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs, so it’s best to keep them away from Fido entirely. And since we often find raisins in desserts like pies and cakes, be sure to keep those out of reach as well.

Casseroles

We all know that casseroles can be full of ingredients that aren’t particularly healthy for humans (think: cream-based soups, processed cheeses, etc.), so it’s no surprise that they’re not great for dogs either.

Besides being high in calories and fat, many casseroles also contain onions or garlic, both of which can be toxic to dogs in large quantities. So this Thanksgiving, leave the casseroles off your dog’s plate.

Onions and garlic

These common ingredients can actually be toxic to dogs in large quantities. All forms of onions — raw, cooked, powdered — can damage a dog’s red blood cells and lead to anemia. So it’s best to avoid feeding your dog any dishes that contain onions or garlic this Thanksgiving.

Alcoholic Beverages

We all know that alcohol is bad for dogs, but it’s especially important to keep Fido away from any alcoholic drinks this holiday season. That’s because ethanol poisoning is one of the most common types of poisoning in dogs during the holidays.

Symptoms of ethanol poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, incoordination, tremors, seizures, and even com — so it’s definitely not something you want your furry friend to experience. So make sure all alcoholic beverages are out of reach this Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie may be delicious, but it’s not good for dogs. The spices in pumpkin pie can irritate a dog’s stomach, so it’s best to avoid giving them any slices this Thanksgiving.

Instead, opt for a doggy-friendly alternative like sweet potato puree. Your pup will love it and you’ll feel good knowing they’re not eating anything that could make them sick!


As you can see, although there are some Thanksgiving foods your dog can eat, there are more foods that should be avoided. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and keep your pet away from anything that might be harmful.

We hope this post gives you peace of mind that you’re prepared to keep your furry friend safe this holiday season. And, of course, make sure you consult with your veterinarian before changing your dog’s diet!

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