Roving noses may encourage you to slip a scrap or two from the table, but our rich, fatty foods can lead to health issues such as pancreatitis or food poisoning in our dogs and cats.

When it comes to pets and table food, you know to stay away from chocolate, but what about vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes? Here are the best and worst Thanksgiving foods for your furry friend.

Best Thanksgiving foods for pets

  • Seedless apples
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Baby carrots
  • Pumpkin
  • Turkey
Safe Thanksgiving Treats from Petplan

Worst Thanksgiving foods for pets

  • Apple seeds
  • Turkey bones
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Nuts
  • Chocolate
  • Bread Dough
  • Alcohol

Don’t dish out foods high in fat, sugar, butter or seasoning – keep it simple to avoid upset stomachs!

Holiday food safety tips for pets

From toxic ingredients to splintering bones, keep your furry friends safe from holiday hazards. Following our holiday tips will keep the festive season happy and healthy for all.

Portion control

Pet parents should consider the size of their best friend when serving (a Chihuahua should not eat as much as a Great Dane). Overindulging can lead to gastrointestinal upset, food bloat or even pancreatitis. Discuss with your veterinarian ahead of time about the perfect portions for your pets.

Trim the fat

Remember to keep treats to less than 10% of your pet’s diet. If you’re planning to make Thanksgiving recipes for dogs, talk with your veterinarian about incorporating any new foods.

No bones about it

No matter how much they beg, dogs should never be given turkey bones to chew on. These brittle bones splinter easily and can cause intestinal blockage or bowel perforation.

Pet-friendly recipes to try

These tasty bites have been carefully concocted to be alternatives to table handouts, not meal replacements. You should also check with your veterinarian before you feed your pet anything outside their normal diet.

Pumpkin smoothies

While guests sip cocktails, your dogs and cats can enjoy a drink of their own with this creamy pumpkin smoothie. It’s packed with fiber and probiotics! Did we mention it freezes for longer-lasting licking?


  • ½ cup canned pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup plain non-fat yogurt


Place pumpkin and yogurt in a blender and blend on high until smooth.

Evenly pour mixture into 8 small paper cups. Refrigerate or freeze overnight, or serve right away.

Yields: 8 servings

Calories per smoothie: 13

Why we love it:

Pumpkin is packed with fiber and vitamin A.

Peanut crudités

Hors d’oeuvres may be off-limits, but furry friends can still snack on something savory. Try these easy appetizers for a crispy, crunchy treat.


  • 8 baby carrots
  • 8 apple slices
  • Natural unsalted creamy peanut butter


Make sure your pet does not eat any of the core or seeds – they are poisonous to our pets! Also, it’s important to check with your veterinarian first before feeding as your pet may have a nut allergy.

Spread peanut butter onto each carrot and arrange on a small plate.

Yields: 8 servings

Calories per serving: 122

Why we love it:

Baby carrots are low in calories but high in beta-carotene.

Prepare these the night before Thanksgiving, while you’re prepping veggies for the big feast. Just pop them in the fridge overnight!


Prepare this refreshing, frozen snack the night before so you have plenty during dinner.


  • Ice cube tray
  • Diced carrot, or blueberries
  • Water (or for cats, low sodium chicken broth without other ingredients)


Fill tray about half full with water. Add, carrot, or blueberries and freeze.

For feline friends, simply fill the tray with meat broth and freeze.

Yields: 14 servings

Calories per treat: 5-9

Why we love it:

Blueberries are a good source of fiber.

Because they take longer to lick, these treats are perfect for keeping roving noses busy while you’re carrying plates from kitchen to table.

Roasted turkey medallions

To create these mouth-watering morsels, make sure you use a skinless and boneless turkey breast!


  • 6 ounces of boiled white meat turkey (cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F)
  • ½ cup chopped carrots
  • ½ cup ground quinoa or oatmeal


Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place skinless turkey and carrots in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Add ground quinoa or oatmeal and blend until mixed.

Roll into 1-inch balls (or smaller, if your pet is petite) and place on a non-stick cooking sheet.

Bake 15 minutes.

Yields: 30 servings

Calories per medallion: 17

Why we love it:

Turkey offers potassium, essential amino acids and protein.

Sweet potato cookies

A boost of beta-carotene and punch of potassium make these cookies a pleasant finish to Thanksgiving.


  • 1 large cooked sweet potato
  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup quinoa flour
  • ½ Tablespoon vegetable oil


Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a medium-size bowl, mix the sweet potato and banana until well blended.

Continue to mix, adding in the vegetable oil and the quinoa flour.

Drop dough by the teaspoon onto a non-stick baking sheet and lightly flatten each cookie.

Bake for 30 minutes and let cool before serving.

Yields: 8 servings

Calories per cookie: 14.4

Why we love it:

Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamins A and C. They also contain antioxidants. This recipe makes a cornucopia of cookies — enough to send guests home with a doggie bag for their four-legged family members!

Jan 21, 2020
Pet Care

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