By: | | Dogs, Cats

Thanksgiving is a time for enjoying a special meal with your family, so of course you want to include your furry family members in your celebration. Keep your pets safe and healthy by knowing what Thanksgiving foods you can share with them and which foods can pose problems.

Thanksgiving Foods That You Can Give Your Pets

Consider swapping out a little of your pet’s regular kibble or canned food and mixing in some of these tasty Thanksgiving foods that are safe for pets to enjoy:


Most dogs and cats love turkey. Choose plain, unseasoned white meat pieces and make sure all bones are removed before giving a piece to your pets.

Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes

Set aside some plain, cooked potatoes or sweet potatoes for your pets before you add the butter and flavorings for your human family.


Cooked pumpkin is a great food for dogs and cats, but they don’t need any extra sugar, so save them some plain pumpkin before you turn it into a pie.


Most vegetables are fine to give your pets (if they’ll eat them). Carrots, green beans, asparagus, broccoli, corn, and peas are all great choices.


Pets can have both cooked or raw apples. Avoid giving them seeds, though.

Thanksgiving Foods to Avoid Giving Pets

There are a number of common Thanksgiving foods that can be hazardous to pets. Make sure your guests know not to share any of these foods with your pets, and be sure to secure your garbage so that your pets don’t accidentally ingest any of these foods or any packaging or wrappers.

Turkey Bones

Cooked bones are prone to splintering and can lodge in or puncture your pet’s digestive tract.

Turkey Skin, Gravy, and Butter

These are all high in fat which can cause pancreatitis if your pet ingests too much of them.

Cranberry Sauce

Due to its high sugar content, cranberry sauce is not good to give your pets.

Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic can cause gastrointestinal irritation and damage to red blood cells in pets.


Nuts are high in fat and difficult for pets to digest, and some types of nuts are toxic to dogs.

Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in pets.


Ingesting chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and seizures in pets.


Alcohol can upset your pet’s stomach as well as cause liver damage.

What to Do If Your Pet Eats Something They Shouldn’t

If your pet eats one of the items on the list of foods to avoid or anything else you’re just not sure if it’s okay for them to have, it’s essential to take quick and appropriate action. Call your pet’s veterinarian, and let them know what your pet ate, how much of it they ate, and if they’re showing any symptoms, and they can advise you on what to do next which may be just monitoring them for any signs of distress or bringing them in for an exam or emergency treatment. If it’s after hours or your vet is closed for the Thanksgiving holiday, you can contact your local emergency animal hospital or call the Pet Poison Helpline. Many pet insurance companies also have free 24/7 pet health lines for their members where you can talk to a veterinary professional about what your pet ingested, and they can advise you on the next steps to take. If you have any doubts about what to do or your pet is showing serious signs of distress, don’t hesitate to take them to an emergency animal hospital right away.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!