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Is Turkey Safe for Dogs? – A Guide on Thanksgiving Food and Your Dog

March 20, 2020

Is Turkey Safe for Dogs? – A Guide on Thanksgiving Food and Your Dog

There is a lot of food at Thanksgiving and your dog is going to be begging for a piece. Between the turkey, the sweet potatoes and the pumpkin pie, your dog will think he’s in heaven. All he wants is just a bite. Just one little taste. And then another. And another after that. However, before you throw the dog a bone (literally) you should make sure that what you’re giving them is safe to eat.


The Thanksgiving turkey is probably what your dog will want the most. Chances are he’ll start salivating as soon as you take it out of the oven. It’s also likely your young cousin may have already been throwing scraps to the dog when no one is looking. The good news is that turkey is completely safe for dogs.

However, there are some things you should know before giving them all the leftovers. Pieces of the Thanksgiving turkey should only be given to your dog in small quantities and should be done with caution, especially if they have preexisting health conditions like diabetes. It’s also better to give them an unseasoned piece without skin. The turkey skin can be rather fatty and can lead to digestion issues – plus you don’t want your pup developing that Thanksgiving food baby.

Despite what cartoons have taught us, you should not give your dog a turkey bone or any poultry bone for that matter. Not only do veterinarians caution against this, but turkey and poultry bones can lead to a variety of problems including choking. A chew or jerky-like treat is a better alternative and your dog will love it just as much, if not more.


Carrots are an extremely delicious and healthy snack for your dog. Uncooked and unseasoned carrots are a tasty and healthy treat that dogs enjoy. Fresh carrots also have a satisfying crunch that’ll make your dog wag their tail with each bite. Chances are it’ll be in your kitchen this Thanksgiving so instead of throwing a bone, throw a carrot.


Fall is the season of the pumpkin and the likelihood that it’ll make its way to your Thanksgiving table is very high. The good news is pumpkins are a perfectly healthy treat for your dog. Raw or cooked, the root vegetable is something your pup will love. It’s probably best to stick with sure fresh pumpkin and not canned pie filling or the one from your doorstep. The good gourd is full of fiber and is something they’ll gobble down - Gobble. Get it? It’s a turkey pun.

If you really want the pup to enjoy the season of giving thanks, make them a pumpkin-based smoothie or pumpkin-flavored doughnut to (pumpkin) spice things up. These recipes even have “I and love and you” food in them ensuring that it’s not only delicious but also beneficial to your dog’s health. After feasting with family and pets this Thanksgiving, remember to enjoy that post-Thanksgiving nap – that is until your dog wants to play and who can say no to that face.


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