a feast

fit for fido

(and fluffy!)

simple tips to create a cornucopia of thanksgiving recipes for dogs...that the cat would approve of too!

For all the love and loyalty they give us throughout the year, we show gratitude to our pets by...excluding them from the Thanksgiving feast?

When roving noses make their way into your lap during dinner, it can be easy to give in and slip pets a scrap or two from the table. But feasting on rich, fatty foods can knock the stuffing out of Fido and Fluffy (not to mention your wallet). Pancreatitis and food poisoning are common conundrums when pets eat from your plate.

What’s a pet parent to do? Turn to this “Mutt’s Menu” of delicious Thanksgiving recipes for pets. Before you balk, don’t worry — you won’t need to buy complicated ingredients or cram in more prep between basting, whipping and chopping. The recipes below include items you already have on paw and most can be made alongside your main meal. We’ve even included a game plan for fitting in this feast with your already scheduled cooking.

Petplan’s veterinarians carefully concocted each recipe so pet parents can rest assured they’re offering a safe alternative to table handouts. That way furry friends can be included in the festivities — after all, they have a lot to be thankful for, too.

Thanksgiving dog and cat treat recipe menu

Have a pet-friendly recipe or kitchen tip to share?

I am thankful for my dogs’ love and loyalty and their ability to make me smile every day.

- Kristy Butter,

Miley’s Daily Scoop

pumpkin smoothies

Pumpkin smoothie recipe for dogs and cats

While your guests sip cocktails, dogs and cats can wet their whistles with this creamy pumpkin drink that’s packed with fiber and digestion-friendly probiotics. Bonus: freezes well for longer-lasting licking!

ingredients

  • ½ c. canned pumpkin puree
  • ½ c. plain non-fat yogurt

directions

  1. Place pumpkin and yogurt in a blender and blend on high until smooth.
  2. Evenly pour mixture into 8 small paper cups. Either 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 and can help soothe upset stomachs.

If there are fewer than eight paw-footed Pilgrims at your party, freeze the rest for a Black Friday treat!

paws-itively peanutty crudités

Peanut butter crudite recipe for dogs and cats

Hors d’oeuvres may be off-limits, but furry friends can still snack on something savory. Try these easy ap-paw-tizers for a crispy, crunchy first course.

ingredients

  • 8 Baby carrots
  • 8 Apple slices
  • 8 Celery sticks (no longer than 4 inches)
  • Natural unsalted creamy peanut butter

directions

  1. Spread peanut butter onto each carrot, apple and celery stick and arrange on a small plate.
  2. Let pets sample one of each treat.

Yields: 8 servings

Calories per serving: 122

why we love it:

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

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

simple “sorbet”

Sorbet recipe for dogs and cats

Tickle tongues between courses with this refreshing, frozen snack. Prepare the night before so you have plenty on paw during dinner.

ingredients

  • Ice cube tray
  • Diced banana, carrot, apple or blueberries
  • Water (or for cats, meat broth)

directions

  1. Fill tray about half full with water. Add banana, carrot, apple or blueberries and freeze.
  2. For feline friends, simply fill the tray with meat broth and freeze.

Yields: 14 servings

Calories per treat: 5-9

why we love it:

Apples are a good source of fiber, helping to clean teeth and freshen your pet’s breath.

Because they take longer to lick, these treats are paw-fect for keeping roving noses busy (and out of the way!) while you’re carrying plates from kitchen to table.

roasted turkey medallions

Turkey meatball recipe for dogs and cats

Slice a few slivers when the turkey comes out of the oven to create these mouth-watering morsels. Baking them is so quick and easy, they’ll be done by the time the turkey hits the table.

ingredients

  • 6 oz. white meat turkey, cooked
  • ½ c. chopped carrots
  • ½ c. ground quinoa or oatmeal

directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Place turkey and carrots in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Add ground quinoa or oatmeal and blend until mixed.
  4. Roll into 1-inch balls (or smaller, if your pet is petite) and place on a non-stick cooking sheet.
  5. Bake 15 minutes.

Yields: 30 servings

Calories per medallion: 17

why we love it:

Turkey provides potassium and essential amino acids and is a protein-packed snack.

This Thanksgiving dinner for dogs is purr-fect for feline friends, too!

Sweet potato cookies for dogs and cats

Feed something sweet without all the sugar; a boost of beta-carotene and punch of potassium make these cookies a healthy coda to Thanksgiving dinner.

ingredients

  • 1 large cooked sweet potato
  • 1 banana
  • ½ c. quinoa flour
  • ½ Tbsp. vegetable oil

directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, mix the sweet potato and banana until well blended.
  3. Add the vegetable oil, then mix in the quinoa flour.
  4. Drop dough by the teaspoon onto a non-stick baking sheet and lightly flatten each cookie.
  5. 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 and contain antioxidants that help prevent cancer and fight the effects of aging.

This recipe makes a cornucopia of cookies — enough to send guests home with a doggie bag for their four-legged family members!

Game plan your paw book for a winning dinner

thanksgiving week

After shopping for your own meal, set aside what you’ll need to make the Mutt’s Menu. Create a drop space for ingredients (one inside the fridge and one outside).

  • Non-perishables: pumpkin puree, 1 apple, peanut butter,  2 bananas, 1 sweet potato,  ground quinoa or oatmeal
  • Perishables: yogurt, baby carrots, celery

the night before thanksgiving

Three of the recipes can be made Thanksgiving Eve to make Turkey Day an easy touchdown (no hurry-up offense necessary!). Prepare the:

  • Pumpkin smoothies
  • Paws-itively Peanutty Crudité
  • Simple Sorbet

Store the sorbet in the freezer and the others in the fridge.

thanksgiving morning

  • Prep the turkey medallions and sweet potato cookies.
  • Time out: You can give them a time out in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.

dinner preparation

  • 350° While heating a dish for your main dinner, pop in the sweet potato cookies for your pup. Bake for 30 minutes.
  • 400° Once you’ve tackled the turkey, slice off 6 oz. of cooked white meat to add to the medallion mixture and roll into 1-inch balls. Slide these treats into the oven for 15 minutes while you’re cooking up something for two-legged guests.

dinner is served

Enjoy the fruits of your labor (and the cheers from your feasters!) during your Turkey Day dinner.

  • Extra point: Stock up on doggie bags to send leftovers home with two- and four-legged guests!

There’s good reason I call my Havanese pup “good time” Rocco, because for him every moment is a good time — and for that I’m so thankful to share in his joy every day!

— Diane Silver,

To Dog With Love

I’m grateful that Saffy, Cosmo and Phoebe make me laugh every day — they are such little comedians!

— Angie Bailey,

Cat Lady Land

what’s on your plate?

When it comes to pets and table food, you know to keep paws off the chocolate — but what about carrots, or sweet potato casserole? We’ve sniffed out the best and worst foods for your furry friend’s Thanksgiving feast.

Healthy thanksgiving food for dogs and cats
Unhealthy thanksgiving food for dogs and cats

While these are healthy foods for furry friends, whether they’re good for your dog depends on how you prepare them. Don’t dish out foods high in fat, sugar, butter or seasoning – keep it simple to avoid upset stomachs!

treat them well

Remembering Thanksgiving food safety is just as important as making sure everything is delicious — and this goes double for dogs! From stuffed bellies to splintering bones, furry friends should be kept safe from a whole host of hazards. To help you make sure the holiday is happy and healthy fur all, here are our top tips for tackling Thanksgiving dinner for dogs.

portion control

Pet parents should consider the size of their best friend when dishing out dinner (a Chihuahua should not eat as much as a Great Dane!). Overindulging can lead to gastrointestinal upset or even pancreatitis.

trimming the fat

Remember to keep treats to less than 10% of your pet’s daily caloric intake to maintain a healthy diet. If you’re planning to make Thanksgiving recipes for dogs, adjust the amount of regular chow you dish out in a day.

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 the risk of intestinal blockage or bowel perforation is just too great to ignore!

Every day of the year, I give thanks for the Corgi-liciousness that makes life better: low-riding, big-eared personality, attitude, good cheer, smarts, energy, and a hefty side helping of goofiness!

— Laurie Enos,

The Daily Corgi