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Safe Thanksgiving Foods For Your Pet

Thanksgiving spread

The Thanksgiving holiday usually centers on get-togethers with friends and family around a meal. If you have canine and feline companions, it’s helpful to know what on your plate is or isn’t safe to share with them.

The core

Turkey is probably the most common part of a Thanksgiving meal. Your dog or cat can eat this, but only if it’s not cooked with spices or seasonings such as garlic/garlic powder, onion/onion powder, or strong spices. Remove the skin and preferably give only the breast meat. Don’t give your pet poultry bones (or bones of any type, raw or cooked) and don’t give poultry skin (it’s very fatty)..

Stuffing is usually a staple with a turkey dinner, but can contain onion and/or garlic, which are toxic to dogs and cats, as well as spices that can cause GI upset or worse.

turkey for thanksgiving

The sides

Baked or boiled potatoes and baked sweet potatoes are okay, but skip the sugary sweet potatoes with syrup or marshmallows on top. Also skip the mashed potatoes made with butter, milk, seasonings, and topped with gravy. Plain food is the key point to remember.

Some Thanksgiving dinners are served with ham instead of turkey. Ham is high in fat, and also often glazed with sweet sauces, so avoid letting your pet eat this.

Vegetables such as steamed green beans, peas, carrots, and broccoli can be shared if they don’t have added butter, salt, and/or pepper, or spices.

thanksgiving sides

Apps & dessert

Be careful setting out pre-dinner snacks as well. Some types of nuts are not safe for your pet, and salty snacks such as popcorn, chips, and pretzels are unhealthy as well.

As for desserts, most of those are off limits, especially anything containing raisins or chocolate, as these can be very toxic. You shouldn’t give your pet that canned cranberry sauce, but a few plain unsweetened cranberries are okay.

thanksgiving pies

Where to go from here?

Once you know what your menu will be, if you still have any questions about what’s safe or not, contact a veterinarian for additional advice.

If your pet manages to sneak something off the table or during your Thanksgiving prep time, Hello Ralphie has veterinarians who will be available on Thanksgiving to help guide you on the best next steps for your pet. 

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