Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year. I get hungry thinking about the turkey in the oven, the stuffing, and those mashed potatoes being whipped into shape.
I know I’m not the only one who loves Thanksgiving. I can tell my dog Henry is feeling pretty grateful when he’s right under foot in the kitchen, smelling those good smells from the oven, and watching every little movement to see if a piece of turkey might drop from the counter.
I’m very grateful for my dog Henry, and with any holiday, it’s fun to let your dog share in the celebration. Here are some different ideas for celebrating the food bounty of Thanksgiving with your dog.
First Things to Consider
Be careful with portion sizes. Holidays are a great time to celebrate with your dog, but they can also be a potentially dangerous time if food portions and treats are out of control. Try to keep their food portions consistent with what you normally provide, with a few Thanksgiving treats sprinkled throughout. You can rest assured they will love the holidays as much as you do, without a scary trip to the vet later.
Check with your vet. If your dog has had health issues in the past (allergies or gastro-intestinal problems, for instance), speak with your vet about any Thanksgiving foods or treats you’re unsure about beforehand.
Foods OK to Give
Boneless, skinless, unseasoned, 100% cooked turkey. It’s a hefty-looking list, but your dog should be completely safe to eat turkey if you follow the above requirements (and of course they’ll love you for it). , since the fat from the turkey skin can cause pancreatitis, and the bones can cause a choking hazard and potential rectal bleeding.
Raw green beans. Green beans are a great treat to give on Thanksgiving Day, as they’re , full of fiber, and offer lots of nutritional value with an array of vitamins. When your dog is looking up at you with those big needy eyes, you can be generous with green beans without feeling guilty. Raw green beans are the best option, but canned or steamed green beans are fine if the sodium count is low.
Carrots. If you have a new puppy going through the teething stage, raw, cold carrots can help , and will provide a satisfying crunch. Like orange sweet potatoes, carrots are packed with , which is great for your dog’s immune and digestive system. If you decide to cook your carrots, make sure they are , as spices such as garlic, onions, and salt can cause anemia and gastrointestinal irritation.
Thanksgiving Food Alternatives to Try
If you’d like your dog to try special holiday treats, there are many healthy options to try. Below are some additional food ideas to serve your dog on Thanksgiving.
Adding a Treat to a Food Puzzle Toy. If your dog loves toys, adding a little bit of orange sweet potato, cooked pumpkin, or another treat of your choice into a puzzle dog toy is a fun Thanksgiving treat to give to your furry companion.
Flavored Wet Dog Food. If your dog normally has dry dog food, canned food can feel like a special treat. Many canned dog foods offer real, deboned turkey combined with other wholesome ingredients.
Flavored Dog Treats. There are many natural and healthy Thanksgiving treats to try, including dehydrated sweet potato, pumpkin, or apple treats, as well as freezer-dried turkey pieces.
Whether it’s a piece of cooked turkey or a new sweet potato treat, your dog is sure to love the Thanksgiving holiday, especially because they get to enjoy with you. Just like us, our pets should practice eating in moderation at Thanksgiving.