Thanksgiving Food Your Dog Can Eat: A Complete Guide for the Holidays

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  • Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.

Leaves are falling, and there’s a crisp freshness to the air—autumn is here! Holidays bring an abundance of food for humans and dogs alike. The only problem is that some human foods just aren’t safe for dogs, no matter how much our pets might beg us for a bite.

Thanksgiving food dogs can eat

We’re here to help you navigate which Thanksgiving and Christmas foods your dog can eat, and which they should avoid. Read on for common holiday table dishes that may or may not treat your dog well.

Green beans, not green bean casserole

Garlic and onions are toxic to dogs cooked, fresh, dried, or powdered. They belong to the Allium plant family, which damages dogs’ red blood cells, decreasing oxygen flow, and can also lead to anemia, which may cause organ damage.

Instead, feed your dog peas or green beans, which are one of the healthiest human snacks for dogs. They’re packed with vitamins and minerals and rich in protein and fiber. Toss your dog a frozen green bean as a cool treat, flip them a freeze-dried green bean as a crispy low cal snack, or add beans or peas to your dog’s dinner for a tasty alternative protein source.

Do keep an eye out for canned peas, though, which can be high in sodium. And, if your dog has kidney problems, they may need to stay away from peas, just like humans.

Yogurt, not ice cream

Though it’s tempting to serve your dog’s Thanksgiving dessert a la mode, ice cream is not pooch friendly! Thankfully, yogurt is a dog-friendly ice cream alternative. Calcium, protein, and live bacteria that can act as probiotics will give your dog a tasty dose of nutrients. Be sure to pick a yogurt with no sugars or artificial sweeteners.

Water and broth, not beer or wine

Dogs love the taste of beer, but alcohol is highly dangerous for dogs, even in very limited amounts. Dogs’ livers aren’t as equipped to handle alcohol as humans’ are, and their smaller size means they can overdose quickly.

Instead, serve dogs good old fashioned water, as a treat, you can make your own dog eggnog, or add low-salt bone broth to their regular meal.

Give your dog sweet potatoes, not grapes or raisins

Lightly sweet and full of water and fiber, grapes may seem like a healthy choice to toss to your dog. But only one or two grapes can lead to serious illness or even death for some dogs. It’s unclear what about grapes makes them so dangerous, but ingestion can cause kidney failure.

While your aunt’s candied yams are a hit with the family, all that sugar is sure to upset your dog. Sweet potatoes alone, however, are a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and beta carotene. Sweet potato treats can be a huge hit with dogs.  We’ve got the lowdown on all the ways for your dogs to enjoy sweet potatoes right here.  Or just order some dried sweet potatoes on Amazon.

Apples, not apple pie, or nuts

Apples are full of vitamins A and C and contain plenty of fiber, making them a sweet crunchy treat for your dog. If you’re sharing an apple with your pooch, be sure to cut around the core, as large amounts of apple seeds can be toxic.

While apple pie is far too sweet for dogs, you can still share special a dessert with your pal; follow an unsweetened applesauce recipe, making sure to skip the spices, too.

Give your dog meat, not bones

Feed your family the meat, toss your dog the bones and everybody’s happy, right? Maybe not in the end. Bones are dangerous for dogs because they can splinter as the dog chews them, causing choking, cuts in the mouth and throat, and fragments that can get stuck in their intestines.

Instead, share that meat with your dog and get a safe and healthy chew for your dog to savor later.

Pumpkin, not pumpkin pie or bread rolls

Yeast in bread can cause bloating, and wheat is one of the most common allergens for dogs.

On the other hand, a healthy pumpkin treat can serve as a wonderful dessert for dogs! (NOT pumpkin pie, though—not any healthier for your dogs than it is for you.) Instead, try our DIY pumpkin treats for dogs.

The takeaway

It’s fun to feed your dog scraps from your table, but rushing them to the vet will ruin any holiday party. Instead, put aside some of the foods you can share with them ahead of time and let your family and guests feed those to your dogs.

Happy eating!

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