Begging For Turkey: Pet-Friendly Thanksgiving Foods

We are coming up on the most delicious day of the year-Thanksgiving! While many people will stay home and enjoy the company of family and friends; we can’t forget about the furry members of the household. Cats and dogs are likely to be running around, and may even be traveling with their owners for Thanksgiving festivities and dinner.

We all know dogs and cats can’t eat chocolate, but what else should an owner watch for on Thanksgiving? Keep these tips in mind:

-A little goes a long way-if you only ate the same dry dog food every day and suddenly got all sorts of mashed potatoes, turkey meat, and gravy your stomach would be in shock! When introducing any new food into your pets’ system for the first time, do not exceed more than 25 percent of his or her normal total food intake.

-Don’t feed your pet anything you wouldn’t eat! That piece of turkey oozing gravy isn’t good for you, and is certainly not good for your pet!

-Make sure any meat you feed your pet is well-cooked, and keep bones out of your pets’ serving. They can be hidden, so be sure to check. These can splinter or accidentally be ingested and cause a ton of problems that may land you at the vet instead of shopping on Black Friday!

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  • Baking materials-raw bread dough, raw eggs, chocolate, raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts
  • Herbs & essential oils- these can cause gas in your pet in small quantities, and central nervous system depression in large quantities. Cats are especially sensitive to herbs such as nutmeg, so keep it to the catnip!
  • Turkey bones- this is a choking hazard!
  • Turkey skin and gravy-way too fattening! Not only will your pet get a little chunky, fat can cause their pancreases to work overtime and make them very sick
  • Cheese/sausages-the fat in these can cause the same effect on the pancreas
  • Stuffing-many types of stuffing include tons of seasoning, which can be a toxic cocktail for your pet
  • Cranberry sauce-often contains nuts, raisins, and sugars; making this toxic to pets
  • Pies-too much sugar! Pets can’t process this amount of sugar


  • Turkey meat, preferably lean white meat
  • Mashed potatoes with minimal fat, salt, and NO garlic or onions
  • Green beans, lightly steamed and unseasoned
  • Corn, loose and without butter
  • Canned pumpkin
  • Low-sodium broth, to add flavor. NO onions or garlic.
  • Sweet potatoes, plain

Be sure your relatives and house guests know that feeding your pets table scraps is forbidden or make sure they don’t feed them any of the above items. Check out a list of dog-safe “human” foods here.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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