Your Cart is Empty

Dog Thanksgiving: The Good, The Bad, and The Dangerous...

black, tan, and white dog laying on a hardwood floor

Thanksgiving is by far our favorite holiday. Families coming together, the football...okay, who are we kidding, the food!! At SitStay, we, and our amazing customers, treat our dogs like part of the family because they are. So we want to make sure our dogs have a delicious, and more importantly, a safe Thanksgiving.

Every year all over America, hopeful dogs are hoping to get some of those yummy Thanksgiving table scraps or handouts. From turkey to cranberries and everything in between it's important to know what you can and cannot give your dog.

We've put together a list of the most popular items that make up the good, and the bad parts of thanksgiving,to help keep the vet out of your post thanksgiving events.

A good rule of thumb is to not give the dog anything from the table. It's important to be careful because anything out of their ordinary diet can trigger dangerous gastrointestinal infections (GI) or pancreatitis. But if you do, plan to stick to the good items listed below and avoid the bad ones!

The Good Dog Thanksgiving

Sweet Potatoes:  Good

Don't let the “sweet” label fool you. Sweet potatoes are full of fiber, vitamins, and carotenoids and are actually healthier than regular potatoes. If you want to share sweet potatoes with your dog, set some aside without any salt or butter on them. Sweet potatoes are good as long as they ARE PLAIN. Nutmeg is bad, see below, but do not serve sweet potatoes with sugar and butter either. Plain sweet potatoes should be the only option for your dog. You can share a small can of sweet potatoes with your pup and give them their own version of Thanksgiving.

White Turkey Meat:  Good

Turkey has always been the main event of the Thanksgiving meal. Your dog can eat some lean, cooked white meat, just try not to go overboard. Keep them away from the fattier dark meat which can cause dangerous pancreatitis. 

Raw Carrots:  Good

Fresh, raw carrots have always been an ideal snack for dogs. Dogs love the sweet taste and carrots are loaded with vitamins, fiber, and potassium. Carrots can even be good for your dog’s dental health. They aid in removing plaque from teeth and help keep your pooch's breath fresh. Offer them served raw before you add any butter or salt. 

Raw Green Beans:  Good

Low in calories, raw green beans make another great healthy snack for your dog. Green beans are loaded with nutritious vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Like carrots, offer them raw before they find their way into a green-bean casserole. 

Fresh Cranberries:  Good

Full of vitamins A, B1, B2 and C, cranberries are great for dogs. In addition, they’re well-known for helping maintain healthy urinary tracts. On Thanksgiving, if you’re making cranberry sauce from scratch with fresh fruit, feel free to share. But Note: Do not give the canned cranberry sauce and jellied cranberry sauce to your dog, they are full of sugar and should not be given to pets.

Fresh Pumpkin:  Good

Pumpkin is good for dogs to eat not only because it’s low in calories and bursting with vitamins, beta carotene and fiber, but also because it helps with a dog’s digestion. Pumpkin is great if your dog is suffering from an upset stomach, diarrhea or constipation. If you’re using canned pumpkin for your pie, though, it’s better not to share it with your family dog. The processed stuff isn’t healthy for dogs like fresh pumpkin is.

Brussels Sprouts:  Good

The Bad & Dangerous Foods and Hazards at Thanksgiving:

All Fatty Foods:  Bad

Fatty foods, the heart of any of traditional Thanksgiving meal can specifically trigger pancreatitis. Be aware of your dog. If they are vomiting, acting lethargic and / or experiencing abdominal pain could signal that there may be a problem.

Try adding 100% All Natural Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil to their dinner.

Turkey Skin:  Bad

Turkey skin is a high fatty food, and as previously stated could cause problems. But turkey skin is also dangerous because it can absorb spices, marinade, butter and oils that can also lead to pancreatitis. Keep turkey skin out of your dog's Thanksgiving diet.

Try Elinora's Dried Fish Skin Chews to your dogs thanksgiving treat menu

Bones:  Bad

Cooked or Uncooked, all poultry bones (chicken and turkey) are especially dangerous to dogs. Poultry bones can splinter and cause all sorts of extremely dangerous problems. Not only can they splinter and puncture the intestines or stomach, but they also can cause obstructions in the intestine which will mean that your dog will need emergency surgery. Surgery is a best case, a bone can splinter and block the airway causing death. It's imperative to dispose of your bones safely and appropriately.

Try Barkworthies 12" and 6" Bully sticks instead!

Nuts:  Bad

Ever heard of "Macadamia Nut Toxosis"? It's a condition dogs can get when they eat macadamia nuts or walnuts, causing them to be unable to stand and inducing vomiting, tremors, fever, weakness and an elevated heart rate. This condition usually goes away but can lead to shock and even death. Keep dogs away from all nuts.

Try the Buster Cube to keep them busy

Combine with the cloud star treats below for a fun and delicious distraction!

Nutmeg:  Bad

You'll hear that sweet potatoes or pumpkin are OK to serve your dog. But, stay far away if they are spiced with nutmeg. Nutmeg can cause a dog central nervous problems, seizures and in some cases can even cause death. If you're using this spice don't let your dog near the foods that contain nutmeg.

Try Cloud Star Oven-Baked Itty Bitty Sweet Potato Treats

A great treat to combine with the Mazee treat dispenser below!

Dough:  Bad

Dough can actually rise in your dogs stomach! Yikes. This can obviously cause abdominal pain. But dough can also contain raw eggs, which can contain harmful Salmonella. This is the same reason why you should not egg raw dough either.

Try Cloud Star Soft & Chewy Beef & Spinach

A great treat to combine with the Buster Cube! 

Beware of Turkey Nets:  Bad

While white turkey meat can be ok, the net that turkeys come wrapped in can cause trouble to your dog. Obviously you're not going to serve your dog a turkey net but if a dog gets into the trash they can ingest the netting which can cause an obstruction or blockage which can lead to surgery.

Try Plato Organic Real Stips Duck Treats 

a great treat to combine with the Mazee treat dispenser below!

Raiding the Trashcan:  Bad

As we just described, the trashcan can be a real danger. Full of good smells (to a dog) they can explore the trash can and get in it. If they get into the trash we will have no idea what he or she may have consumed while we're busy cooking or entertaining.

Try the Mazee by Planet Dog for hours treat dispensing of enjoyment

Use smaller treats for an easier time getting them out and larger treats for a greater challenge, like the Plato EOS!

Hanging in the Kitchen:  Bad

It's best just to keep your dog out of the kitchen. While we're running around trying to cook a million dishes, the dog may accidentally get tangled in our feet and trip up the cook. A little stumble can spill hot grease or other hot dishes and leave a nasty burn on the dog and on us. Even if the food doesn't land on the pet directly, the dog is able to quickly scarf up the piping hot food and burn his mouth. If possible, keep the dog out of the kitchen.

Try our Snoop from Orbee by Planet Dog treat dispenser

Watch the Commotion:  Bad

Family in and out of the house all day long can create quite a commotion, something different that what the dogs may be used to. If your dog has the kind of personality that they can get agitated with such craziness, do them a favor and find her a quiet place for her to be, so she doesn't get too scared.

Try the Thundershirt to keep your dog calm

That should be a big enough list to keep your dog both happy and safe at Thanksgiving. Be sure to sign up for our Good Dog Newsletter and get an instant discount! 

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our amazing customers and their dogs!

Meet The Author 

Grant Withers

Canine Specialist & Writer

Grant is an award-winning writer for SitStay with a passion for pets and especially dogs! Grant loves writing about furry little goofballs and aims to educate pet parents about anything and everything regarding their dogs.

Recommended Articles

The Best Quotes About Dogs To Make You Smile
The Best Quotes About Dogs To Make You Smile

by M M 4 min read 0 Comments

Read More
healthiest dog breeds
The Healthiest Dog Breeds

by Grant Withers - Canine Specialist & Writer 4 min read 0 Comments

Dogs are an amazing part of life and can bring joy to your whole family, but when your little fur ball gets hurt or sick it can be a scary time. In this article I will be looking at the 9 healthiest dog breeds and how they made the list.
Read More
How to Get Rid of Dog Smell
How to Get Rid of Dog Smell

by Claudia Bensimoun - Canine Specialist & Writer 8 min read 0 Comments

Accidents happen. If you're wondering how to get the urine and dog smells out of the carpet and furniture in your home, here are some easy tips!
Read More