Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Dogs > What Can Dogs Eat on Thanksgiving? 8 Vet-Approved Options

What Can Dogs Eat on Thanksgiving? 8 Vet-Approved Options

Golden retriever near family during thanksgiving dinner

Vet approved

Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks to family and friends—a time we all get together and feast on yummy foods until our pants are tight. For dog owners, just about any canine will be watching you eat all those yummy foods, which begs the question: what can dogs eat on Thanksgiving?

Most dogs would love to celebrate with you and your family and friends, and there’s no reason your dog can’t join in. However, it must be done safely to keep it from getting sick. In this article, we’ll list eight great food options to give dogs so they can celebrate too!


8 Great Thanksgiving Food Options That Dogs Eat

1. Turkey

Turkey meat fillet
Image by: Andmonk, Shutterstock

Most people cook a turkey for Thanksgiving, and there’s no doubt your dog would love some of this tasty bird. It’s ok to give your dog turkey, but avoid the skin because that’s where all the added seasonings reside. The skin also has a high-fat content, which could cause pancreatitis. Please make sure to feed only plain turkey meat without any added salts or seasonings such as garlic and onions, which are highly toxic to dogs. You should also refrain from giving your dog turkey bones, as bones can be a choking hazard or splinter, which can cause intestinal damage.

2. Sweet Potatoes/Potatoes

Diced sweet potato on chopping board
Image by: Candice Bell, Shutterstock

Sweet potatoes have nutritional benefits for dogs because they are high in fiber, low in fat, and contain plenty of vitamins A, C, B6, potassium, iron, and calcium. Ensure to only give sweet potatoes without any butter, cream, milk, or add seasonings, as these ingredients can cause an upset tummy. You should cook the sweet potatoes before serving, as raw can cause a blockage and is harder for your dog to digest.

3. White Potatoes

White Potatoes
Image By: Pixel1, Pixabay

White potatoes can also be on your dog’s Thanksgiving menu, but avoid them if your dog is diabetic because white potatoes can spike blood sugar levels. Skip the seasonings and any other ingredients, such as sour cream, milk, and butter. Again, boil or cook the potatoes to avoid a possible blockage. And remember never use garlic or onions in food prepared for a dog.

4. Pumpkin

sliced pumpkin on kitchen board
Image by: Dream79, Shutterstock

Pumpkin is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Not only is pumpkin nutritious, but it also aids in smooth digestion, as well as helps with tummy upset. Pumpkin is excellent to give your dog for diarrhea because it bulks up the stool, provides fatty acids that supply energy to cells, and lowers the pH level of the large intestines. Ensure you only feed pumpkin with no added ingredients or seasonings. For canned pumpkin, ensure the only ingredient is, in fact, pumpkin.

5. Apples

Image Credit: Pasja1000, Pixabay

Apples are a tasty treat for dogs and hold nutritional benefits, such as vitamin C, carbs for energy, and fiber. An important note is never to feed your dog the apple stem or the seeds because they are toxic to dogs. Cut the apple into small, bite-sized pieces for smooth digestion, and only give in moderation to avoid tummy upset. You can also leave the apple skin on.

6. Green Beans

Fresh green beans in bowl on wooden table
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Green beans are just fine to give your dog, and they provide excellent vitamins and minerals, but to feed green beans safely, ensure they are plain with no added seasonings. If you feed green beans from a can, ensure the sole ingredient is green beans with no added salt or anything else for that matter. Any type of green bean is safe as long as there are no added seasonings.

7. Plain Green Peas

Image by: Devanath, Pixabay

Peas hold nutritional value for dogs, such as vitamins A, K, and B, and they are rich in fiber and protein. English peas, snow peas, and sugar snap peas are all safe. We should note the FDA has an ongoing investigation into whether or not peas contribute to dilated cardiomyopathy, a degeneration of the heart muscle. This investigation has not concluded, and if you want your dog to have some peas for Thanksgiving, go ahead and let him enjoy it. Again, ensure there is no added salt or seasonings.

8. Frozen Yogurt

Frozen yogurt Ice cream
Image Credit: Thaweerat, Shutterstock

Thanksgiving is not complete without dessert, so go ahead and let your dog enjoy some frozen yogurt. Fat-free is the better option, and refrain from commercial yogurt because it will be loaded with sugar. Not all dogs can tolerate yogurt, and it’s best to give only a small amount in case it doesn’t agree with your dog. In feeding a teaspoon or two, your dog can have a tasty dessert too!


Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Dog

Now that you know safe food options for Thanksgiving, here is a list of foods to avoid giving your dog:
  • Raisins/Grapes
  • Chocolate/Sweets/Pies
  • Alcohol
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Ham (full of salt/sugar)
  • Fatty foods
  • Foods with spices/seasonings
  • Stuffing
  • Gravy
  • Cranberry
  • Mashed Potatoes

Dogs love to rumble through the trash if given the chance, and if you suspect your dog got into something that could be poisonous, contact the Pet Poison Hotline, which is available 24/7.



When Thanksgiving rolls around each year, there’s no reason your dog can’t enjoy the holiday with you. As long as you provide the safe foods mentioned above, there’s no cause for concern. Ensure no seasonings, butter, oils, or creams are in the food and only feed these foods in moderation.

We hope this article sets your mind at ease regarding Thanksgiving dinner and feeding your dog some of the yummy foods we humans enjoy during this holiday. Remember to give all of these foods in moderation, and these foods should never replace your dog’s regular diet.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets