Thanksgiving is a day to cherish those we love the most, and we all know Fido belongs right near the top of that list. Each year, we put on our stretchiest pants and dish up family favorites at a feast meant to celebrate our blessings alongside our loved ones. Unfortunately, many traditional Thanksgiving dishes include ingredients that can be downright dangerous for dogs. If you want your pup to participate in the holiday meal, these 8 dog-friendly Thanksgiving foods will fill his belly and his heart.
Posted by Jessica Roberts
1. An Apple-icious Treat
Apple pie is as American as, well, apple pie. But many store-bought pies contain Xylitol, which is toxic to dogs, and even homemade pies typically contain far too much sugar for a canine’s digestive system. Apple slices, however, can be a delicious snack for Fido. Pick up some freeze-dried apple treats or slice off a few bites to give your pup a delicious treat that is full of vitamins and helps freshen his breath.
2. Gobble 'Til He Wobbles
We can’t go any farther on this list without talking about the star of the Thanksgiving table: the bird. Whether you stuff it, baste it, spatchcock it or fry it, the turkey is the undeniable showstopper of the Thanksgiving meal. While a few bits from your plate - without any skin or bones - is perfectly fine to slip to your pup under the table, he might prefer a whole feast all to himself. Thanksgiving Day Dinner by Merrick includes real turkey as its first ingredient, along with sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans and granny smith apples. It is also free of artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and by-products, and is entirely grain-free, making it "paw-fectly" healthy for your very good dog.
3. Give Peas a Chance
Peas and green beans are high in Vitamins A, B, C, and K, essential nutrients like folate, thiamin, and manganese, and a good source of dietary fiber. The sweet taste also makes them a perfect Thanksgiving side dish that many dogs adore. If your meal includes a green bean casserole or creamed peas, you can set some plain, cooked legumes aside for your pup to enjoy. Just be sure to stick to fresh or frozen and avoid canned ones with added sodium.
4. It's All Gravy, Baby
Many of our favorite Thanksgiving dishes for humans have a high fat content, and gravy is no exception. Fatty ingredients in a traditional gravy like butter, turkey drippings, onion and bacon can cause gastrointestinal distress in your dog. But that doesn’t mean you can’t whip up a perfectly savory and rich gravy just for Fido. Heat a cup of bone broth in a saucepan and whisk in a tablespoon of garbanzo bean flour or potato flakes. Slowly cook on low heat until the concoction thickens into gravy. Be sure to let it cool before serving it atop your pup’s meal, as he won’t be able to stop himself from scarfing it right down.
5. Sweet 'Taters
Whether you love them or hate them, sweet potatoes are certainly a divisive tuber, and serving them up to your canine is also a bit controversial. Uncooked sweet potato or potato skins are a definitive no, as they can cause a blockage. But boiled, steamed or baked, peeled, unseasoned and served in moderation, yams and potatoes are a perfectly reasonable delicacy to dish up to your doggy. If you have enough cooking to do on the big holiday, your sweetie can still get the spud she craves with these Wholesome Pride Sweet Potato treats.
6. No Bones About It
Every pet owner knows poultry bones are a no go, but just because you can’t give Fido that drumstick, it doesn’t mean he can’t gnaw away during the holiday. These Turkey & Sweet Potato Flavor Dog Bones are a perfectly safe option. And while turkey bones are off-limits, you can get him a chewy and tasty Smoked Turkey Tendon to enjoy. You can also use the turkey bones leftover from your meal to make a simple broth, which can be spooned over your pup's food for a flavorful addition to his regular diet.
7. A Gourd Healthy Meal
Pumpkin and butternut squash are pet-friendly Thanksgiving ingredients that truly deliver on flavor and nutrition. Both are excellent for a dog's digestive system and promote a shiny, healthy skin and coat. And just as important, most pups absolutely love the taste. Serve up the gourds roasted, steamed, or pureed and, as always, unseasoned for your pooch. They can also be mixed with oats, egg and yogurt and baked into "pup-kin muffins." If you're serving Fido pumpkin straight from the can, be sure to use only pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling, which can contain nutmeg.
8. Dessert Goes to the Dogs
Fido does not need to miss out on the pièce de résistance of the Thanksgiving meal: the desserts. Dog bakeries across the country have filled their pastry cases with drool-inducing pet-friendly confections. Simply visit the BringFido Pet Services page to find a bakery near you!
While we don’t recommend serving up all eight (unless you keep the portions pup-sized), each of these Thanksgiving meals will leave Fido feeling quite happy. And after you’ve stuffed your little turkey, check out these 10 Stunning Fall Hikes where you can work off the calories together.
What is your dog's favorite Thanksgiving treat? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!
BringFido is committed to providing authentic dog-friendly content that our readers will love. We may at times receive compensation from our partners or use affiliate links to promote products and services featured on our blog. Banner photo by Pexel/Nataliya Vaitkevich.