Thanksgiving Foods Your Dog Can Actually Eat

Thanksgiving is coming! This year Thanksgiving falls on Thursday, November 22. If you’re having people over to your house, or if you’re bringing your dog to a home for Thanksgiving it’s smart to research how Thanksgiving food will affect your puppy.

If you want to share some of the Thanksgiving feast with your pup, you’ll need to be selective. Remember that most dogs can’t easily digest a lot of fat, sauces, spices, or seasonings. That means that if you want to share Thanksgiving with your pup, you’ll need to be careful about what you offer, and how much your pup eats throughout the day.

It’s also important to only offer small pieces of food. Dogs tend to gobble snacks, and if the piece of food is too large, it may lodge in your pup’s throat and cause choking. Smaller bits of food are also easier to digest, and less likely to cause stomach upset.

Thanksgiving Favorites for Your Dog


Turkey is a traditional main dish at most Thanksgiving dinners. This kind of protein is usually good for your pup. However, make sure that you remove bones from turkey before offering it to your dog. Poultry bones splinter easily, and the shards could cause intestinal damage.

Look for a lean piece of turkey, remove the skin, and offer it to your pup in small bits, or chopped into cubes. You may want to sprinkle the small bits of turkey on your dog’s regular kibble, to encourage him to fill up on healthy dog food, instead of begging at the table.



Many Thanksgiving dinners are preceded with appetizers, and many appetizer trays include cheese. Most dogs can safely eat a few small cubes of cheese. However, some pups are lactose intolerant, and dairy products cause them to experience painful gas or diarrhea. If you’re not sure how your dog handles dairy, don’t test them out on Thanksgiving.


Many appetizer trays also contain olives. Dogs can eat pitted olives in moderation. If the olives are not pitted, keep them away from your pup. And remember that olives are high in fat and calories, so if you’re watching your dog’s weight, you may want to skip the olive treats.

Sweet Potatoes

Raw, fresh, sweet potatoes are good for your pup. They’re packed with vitamins. If they’re served raw, the crunch is also a good way to promote dental health. However, don’t feed your dog canned or cooked sweet potatoes, and never feed your pup anything with marshmallows – they often contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is dangerous to your canine pal. And don’t feed your pup hard-to-digest sweet potato peels.

Green Beans

Dogs love green beans but keep your pup away from green bean casserole. Mushrooms and onions, commonly used in recipes with green beans, are toxic to your dog, so make sure to keep it simple.

Stick to raw or steamed green beans that are not loaded down with butter, salt, or sauces.


Raw and cooked carrots are safe for your puppy, and most dogs love them. Carrots are low in calories, and raw carrots help keep your dog’s teeth clean. Make sure you chop cooked carrots into small bits to prevent choking. Avoid feeding your dog sugary glazed carrots, or carrots cooked with a lot of butter or salt.



Dogs love corn, but too many corn kernels are hard for your dog to digest. If you don’t want to deal with a lot of dog poo, limit corn to one or two tablespoons a day. And don’t give your dog corn cobs.


Like sweet potatoes, fresh pumpkin is good for your pup, but cooked pumpkin or pie filling is not. If you want your dog to have pumpkin on Thanksgiving, cut up a small pumpkin and feed him a few cubes. Remove hard-to-digest pumpkin seeds and remember to avoid spices and sugar.

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Dangerous Thanksgiving Foods

While many raw or simple foods can be shared with your pup, there is a long list of people food that is never safe for dogs, including mushrooms, hazelnuts, almonds, chocolate, cinnamon, onions, garlic, leeks, and chives.

To play it safe, let guests know that it’s not okay to feed your dog in any amount To get a full listing of foods that may be dangerous to your pup, click here to visit the ASPCA’s animal poison control page.

Want to Learn More?

Want to learn more about the foods you can and can’t feed your pup? Check out our blog on which people foods are okay to feed your dogCheck out this comprehensive guide from the American Kennel Club here. Want to find out more about detecting food allergies? Click here to read all about it at


Keystone Puppies cares about the health of your pet. The holidays can be stressful for your pup, so this is not a good time to introduce new foods that may cause stomach upset, diarrhea or illness. Remember that what may work well with one dog may cause intestinal discomfort in another. If you have any questions about foods you can feed your pup, food allergies, or pet nutrition, consult with your veterinarian. If you haven’t decided which breed of dog is right for you, research over 200 breeds here.  Want to search for your new puppy now? Click here to get started.

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