celebrating thanksgiving with your dog

How To Safely Celebrate Thanksgiving With Your Dog

Thanksgiving is the time of the year where friends and family gather to enjoy each other’s company as well as the chance to enjoy delicious food. But you don’t want to leave your dog out of the celebrations! From teaching your dog how to interact with houseguests to making sure your dog doesn’t eat food that is dangerous for them, there are a few things you should know in order to help your dog thrive this holiday period.

In past years, the Thanksgiving Holiday period will typically result in an uptick of veterinarian visits across the country because the period revolves around the consumption of food that can potentially be dangerous for the health of your dog if consumed. Your dog may sneak some food from off the table or might be unknowingly given food to by one of your guests.

Whatever the case is, it is important that you learn how to safely celebrate Thanksgiving with your family and dogs so everyone can have a great time! One of the most important things you can learn from this article is what Thanksgiving food is safe for dogs to eat, and what food should be avoided at all costs.

What Thanksgiving Food Is Safe For Dogs?

If you are hosting Thanksgiving or bringing your dog to celebrate with someone else, it is important to understand which food is safe for dogs and which food can be hazardous for their health. When you are thinking about giving your dog food from the Thanksgiving table it is important to remember that giving your dog human food isn’t always the best option. Canines have different nutritional requirements compared to humans and oftentimes a healthy dog food and the occasional supplementation are the best options to keep your dog healthy and safe.

With that being said, we would be lying if we said most dog parents don’t reward their dogs with a snack once in a while. So if you are going to do that, you should know which foods are safer than others, which food can provide additional vitamins and minerals, and which food you should stay away from.

It is recommended that you only give your dog snacks in moderation as overdoing it can lead to your dog experiencing an upset stomach, diarrhea, or other symptoms.

Without further ado, below are a few of the Thanksgiving foods that are safe for dogs to eat in moderation.

  • Green Beans – Green beans can be a tasty treat for your dog as long as they have been thoroughly washed and don’t contain any added seasonings such as large amounts of salt, pepper, garlic, onions, or other additional condiments. Green beans can provide your dog with additional fiber, vitamin K, B, E, and other additional minerals such as iron, magnesium, and potassium.
  • Carrots Carrots can be a low-calorie snack for your dog and can provide them with additional fiber, Vitamin A, and can also be good for the health of your dog’s teeth. Similar to green beans, carrots should be given to your dog in moderation and shouldn’t contain any additional seasonings or condiments such as salt, pepper, or other spices. Carrots can be served to your dog either raw or cooked but they should always be cleaned and served plain. You can chop the carrots into smaller pieces if you have a smaller dog to make it easier and safer for them to consume.
  • Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes are a great whole food that can provide additional fiber, Vitamin A, B6, C, and other minerals such as Calcium, Potassium, Iron, and small amounts of protein. The fact that sweet potatoes are a whole food and provide these additional vitamins and minerals means they can help to improve your dog’s immune system and maintain healthy muscles, nerves, and skin.
  • Peas & Chickpeas – Serving your dog the occasional pea can help to provide them with a variety of additional vitamins and minerals such as protein, fiber, Vitamin K, folate, zinc, and more. Peas and chickpeas should be served to your dog plain and cleaned without any seasoning or spices on them.
  • Pumpkin – Pumpkin is a common Thanksgiving food that can also provide some health benefits to your dog. Pumpkin is commonly given to dogs who are suffering from diarrhea or an upset stomach because of its bulk fiber content and prebiotic properties. Plain canned pumpkin without any seasoning or spices is typically thought to be the safest option for dogs as added salt, sugar, or spices can irritate your dog’s stomach. Most dogs will appreciate the taste and unique texture of pumpkin but their digestive system will also appreciate the added fiber content and additional vitamins and minerals.

Many of these beneficial foods are primary ingredients in our high-quality, clean protein dog food. Learn more about the health benefits and allergy relief that your dog can experience by switching to Wild Earth.

We have heard from Wild Earth customers who will add a small amount of the above Thanksgiving foods to the top of their dog’s bowl of Wild Earth in an effort to help their dog celebrate Thanksgiving in a healthy manner!

What Thanksgiving Food Is Not Safe For Dogs?

Some human food can provide additional vitamins and minerals for your dog if consumed in moderation. But there are other common Thanksgiving food items that can be extremely dangerous to the health of your dog.

You should keep a close eye on your dog during Thanksgiving to make sure they aren’t given or they don’t steal any of the following food from the table. If you suspect your dog has eaten something they shouldn’t have, then it is recommended you give your veterinarian a call or reach out to the Pet Poison Helpline for their advice.

  • Raw or Undercooked Meat – Raw meat or undercooked meat can be dangerous for humans as well as dogs. Raw food, specifically raw meat could contain harmful bacteria or contaminants such as Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, or dangerous preservatives. For these reasons, it is recommended that you don’t feed your dog raw or undercooked meat from the Thanksgiving table.
  • Bones – Bones are commonly found during the Thanksgiving season but it is highly recommend that you don’t give the extra chicken or turkey bones to your dog. Bones may be common at pet stores, but giving your dog bones from the kitchen can be dangerous for several different reasons such as the strength of the bone could break a tooth, the bone could splinter and cause cuts to your dog’s mouth, could be a choking hazard, or could become stuck or blocked in your dog’s esophagus, stomach, or intestines.
  • Alcohol – Alcohol and the ingredients in many different types of alcohol can be toxic and overall dangerous for the health of your dog. Ethanol is toxic for dogs and alcohol poisoning can be fatal for dogs depending on the size of your dog and the amount they drink. Many alcoholic drinks will also contain dangerous ingredients such as large amounts of sugar or spices that are also dangerous for dogs which means your dog should never come in contact with alcoholic beverages.
  • Chocolate – Chocolate contains theobromine as well as commonly contains caffeine which is a stimulant that increase the heart rate and nervous system of your dog. These types of stimulants can be dangerous for dogs and can cause “chocolate poisoning” which could induce vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, abnormal heart rates, or other symptoms.
  • Poinsettias – Poinsettias might not be considered common food during the Thanksgiving holiday period, but they are commonly found around the home during this time period. Poinsettias are mildly toxic for dogs as well as other pets because they contain chemicals called “diterpenoid euphorbol esters”. If your dog consumed the leaves of a poinsettia then it is possible they could experience symptoms that range from drooling, vomiting, or diarrhea. It is also possible for dogs to experience skin irritation such as itchiness or redness if their skin comes in contact with the plant. At the end of the day, it is recommended to keep your poinsettias off the ground and away from pets.

Along with the items mentioned above, there are also many other foods or ingredients that can be dangerous for dogs. We recommend you read our article about the top 10 foods that dog’s should never eat.

It is also important to keep an eye on your trashcans or trash bags during Thanksgiving to make sure your dog doesn’t have the opportunity to dig through them.

Tips For Celebrating Thanksgiving With Your Dog

Below are a few additional tips to help your dog have an enjoyable and safe Thanksgiving with your family and friends.

  • If you have researched and understand the risks of giving your dog human food during the period, and plan on moving forward with this, then there are a few things that can be done to keep your dog safe. The first thing is to only feed your dog food or ingredients that are safe for them and the ones that will provide them with a nutritional benefit. You can also think about combining these additional treats with their daily dog food as to not break their daily feeding ritual or promote dinner table begging.
  • It is important to incorporate a dog friend activity during the Thanksgiving period. For some families this could be taking your dog on a walk after eating your meal. For others this could be buying your dog a new toy to play with. You want to make sure that your dog feels included during this holiday period.
  • Unfortunately, many homes will lock their dog in a spare bedroom or even outside if they plan on having family and friends over. This could cause your dog anxiety or allow them the freedom to get into trouble. If possible, it is always recommended to allow your pets to socialize with your family and guests during this period. This can help them feel more relaxed and at ease during a stressful point in time.
  • If you plan on traveling during the Thanksgiving period it is important that you make proper accommodations for your dog. This could be boarding them at a local dog hotel, having them stay with a friend, or even bringing them along on your trip! If you plan on traveling with your dog then it is recommend that you think through the safest option for driving, flying, or traveling with your dog.