What Thanksgiving Foods Can You Safely Share With Your Dog?

With Thanksgiving around the corner, you may be wrapped up in planning the holiday yourself or just looking forward to the big meal. Whatever your turkey day future holds, it’s important that dog parents know what Thanksgiving foods are and aren’t safe to share with your pup.

Please note that salt, spices, and butter are not good for your dog. Some spices can even be toxic. If you want to give your dog Thanksgiving foods, you should cook them separately from foods prepared for humans on this holiday. It’s the easiest way to ensure your pup can enjoy the festivities safely.


Thanksgiving foods safe to share with your dog

Bad dog jumping up on counter stealing Thanksgiving food, a holiday dinner turkey with spices and skin they shouldn't eat.
(Photo Credit: adogslifephoto | Getty Images)

Not all foods you think of as safe actually are for your dog. When in doubt, plain preparation of your typical Thanksgiving staples is the best course of action if you’re sharing bites of them with your pup this holiday.


Plain turkey is perfectly safe and even nutritious for your dog. If you want to give your dog plain white turkey meat, go for it! Be sure to remove any skin that may have spices or oils. You can even sprinkle some leftover turkey in your dog’s meals. If you are preparing an alternative meat or vegan version of turkey, be wary of the ingredient list. Many contain spices which are not suitable for canine consumption.

Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are an incredibly nutritious and low-fat snack for your dog. They are high in vitamin B6 and vitamin C, while also aiding in digestion. Be sure to cook your dog’s sweet potatoes, as raw ones are difficult to digest. Simply skinning, cutting, and roasting a sweet potato is a great way to give your dog a healthy treat. You can even cook them in the microwave after washing and piercing the skin with a few holes. Once cooked, carefully remove the skin. Your dog will likely enjoy them sliced, diced, smashed, and even leftover the next day.

Green beans

Plain, cooked green beans provide nutrition for your pup. You can absolutely give your dog a few of these on their Thanksgiving plate. You should not, however, feed your dog green bean casserole. Aside from the fat content, casseroles often contain onions and garlic, which are toxic for dogs.


Plainly cooked pumpkin is another tasty snack you can share with your pup. This gourd is full of fiber, which aids in digestion. However, do not feed your dog pumpkin soufflé or pumpkin pie, as these desserts contain spices and sugars, which are not good for dogs. In particular, nutmeg — which is typically found in both pumpkin and sweet potato desserts — is incredibly dangerous to your dog.


Plain cranberries are a nutritious snack for your pup. They are high in vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Plus, most dogs just like the way they taste. That said, some are not fans of the bitter flavor and will undoubtedly let you know that upon their first bite.

Thanksgiving foods you shouldn’t share with your dog

Delicious and funny turkey cupcake which is a Thanksgiving food dogs should not be eating.
(Photo Credit: JodiJacobson | Getty Images)

Just as there are several safe dishes to share with your dog, many Thanksgiving eats are riddled with hidden dangers. Don’t share these foods with your pup.


All bones — whether they are from a turkey, chicken, ham, or any other roast — are generally unsafe for your dog. They can crack or break off during consumption, which can lead to a scary emergency vet visit if you aren’t careful. That said, turkey meat is perfectly fine — just be sure to remove the bones and skin. Of course, there’s always the option of altogether skipping animal protein in your dog’s diet.

Cranberry sauce

Although cranberries are good for dogs, cranberry sauce is a different story. Loaded with sugar, this tangy, sweet sauce is a no-no for your pup. If your dog has eaten cranberry sauce, they will most likely be fine, save for a little stomach upset. However, if the cranberry sauce was made with a sugar substitute like xylitol, take your dog to the vet immediately. Xylitol is incredibly toxic to dogs. (As a heads up, be sure to check your peanut butter labels for this harmful ingredient while you’re at it.)


Aside from the fact that stuffing is too fattening for dogs, it often contains onions, which are toxic. If your dog has eaten stuffing with onions or garlic, take them to vet to be assessed by a professional.


Gravy recipes differ wildly, but the main three components are fat (either from butter or cooked meat), flour, and stock (often beef, chicken, turkey, or vegetable). These ingredients won’t kill your dog, but they’re not great for them, either. If your dog consumes gravy with onion or garlic — even in powder form — they may be at risk for some negative side effects.

Rolls or biscuits

Rolls or biscuits are a staple of Thanksgiving meals. However, you shouldn’t share them with your dog. They are too fattening and provide no nutritional benefit for your pups. With that said, you can make your dog their very own Thanksgiving biscuits for them to enjoy.

Pies or other desserts

Across the board, desserts are not for dogs. Dogs shouldn’t be eating sugar like humans do — especially sugar substitutes. If your dog has eaten a dessert made with a sugar substitute, take them to vet immediately. Additionally, a lot of desserts contain chocolate, which is toxic for dogs. There are loads of Thanksgiving foods to share with your dog, but the apple pie isn’t one of them. (Plain apples are just fine, though.)

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