Is your dog joining you at the Thanksgiving table this year? With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we all need to get our menus finalized. And if your dog is anything like mine, she’s definitely going to join in on some of the fun.

Sure, you technically shouldn’t give your dog people food from the table. But, it’s Thanksgiving! How can you resist those big eyes? My dog is fond of sticking her head in my lap and not leaving until she gets what she wants.

Our dogs are part of the family and they should be able to have a little Thanksgiving snack. In fact, a poll from PetMD revealed that 56 percent of readers do give their pets some food on Thanksgiving.

frenchie begging at table

Source: Pixabay

Dog Thanksgiving Snacks

Source: Elevated / Flickr

Dr. Brian Collins from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine adds, “I think most animals enjoy the ritual of receiving food.”

Related: Your Dog’s Food May Be More Important Than You Think. Here’s Why.

So it would be perfectly fine to give your dog small pieces of turkey, for example, as a treat, or to mix it into their regular food while you have your own Thanksgiving dinner this week.

The question is: Which Thanksgiving snacks are safe for dogs and which aren’t? It’s tempting to just hand over some of our favorite Thanksgiving classics like turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce or mashed potatoes to our furry friends under the table.

Dog Thanksgiving Snacks

Source: Mike McCune / Flickr

But what may be wonderful and delicious to us, may not be so safe for our pups. There are the obvious ones like chocolate and raisins, but some may surprise you.

So before you start handing out the leftovers to your dog, here’s a look at some Thanksgiving foods that are OK for dogs to eat, and which you should avoid:


1. Turkey


Source: camknows / Flickr

It’s not Thanksgiving without turkey. And dogs can eat lean protein, so giving your pup a little Thanksgiving turkey is absolutely fine. Just make sure that you’ve taken out any bones that your dog could choke on and take off the skin. The gravy, though, could be too much for your dog.

2. Sweet Potatoes

dog begging for sweet potatoes

Source: su-lin / Flickr (left), Roy Niswanger / Flickr (right)

A little bit of sweet potato is a great snack for your dog. You might want to skip it, though, if you add marshmallows to your sweet potatoes. And definitely check to make sure there’s no Xylitol in your marshmallows if you do add them.

3. Macaroni and Cheese

dog begging for mac n cheese

Source: Dave Walker / Flickr (left), Pixabay (right)

Who doesn’t love mac n cheese? You could give your dog some macaroni and cheese as a Thanksgiving snack as long as you know that your dog can handle the dairy well. If not, a piece of a roll could be good.

Related: 5 Easy Homemade Dog Treats To Make Your Pup Happy

4. Vegetables

Green Beans

Source: Despi Ross / Flickr

Vegetables are always a great, healthy treat for your dog. And there are plenty of options on Thanksgiving. Hand over some carrots or some green beans for your pup to crunch away on.

5. Mashed Potatoes

dog begs for mashed potatoes

Source: Gabriela Pinto / Flickr (left), Jinx McCombs / Flickr (right)

Mashed potatoes would be fine to give to your dog. But as points out, it depends on how you make them. If you add onions, garlic, chives, or leeks for example, you should definitely skip the potatoes.

6. Cranberry Sauce

dogs begging for food

Source: Tom Ipri / Flickr (left), David K / Flickr (right)

Similarly, a little cranberry sauce should be OK for your pup, but it depends on how it’s prepared. If you’re adding macadamia nuts or raisins, then you definitely should not give it to your dog. Some canned cranberry sauce, too, could have too much sugar for your dog to handle.


1. Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Source: Ann Larie Valentine / Flickr

Pumpkin isn’t bad for dogs. In fact, vets recommend you give your dog a little pumpkin when they’re having digestive issues. But pumpkin pie can have spices like nutmeg, which is very bad for dogs. And you might not want to give your dog too much pumpkin if they’re not having stomach problems.

2. Stuffing

puppy begging for food

Source: mroach / Flickr (left), hj_west / Flickr (right)

While some stuffing could be OK for dogs, Vet Street points out that a lot of bad ingredients could potentially be added to the stuffing. If you don’t know what’s in the stuffing, or you know it has garlic, onions, leeks, scallions, grapes, raisins, or unhealthy spices, it’s best to avoid the stuffing.

Header image via David K / Flickr