How to Make a Pet-Friendly Thanksgiving Dinner

As we approach the final quarter of the year, we begin to prepare for the festivities that are on the way. Thanksgiving can be one of the most exciting and dangerous holidays for your four-legged family members. It comes as no surprise that our pets can’t eat the same dishes as we do because if they did, they could end up with serious health risks and side effects. In this article, we will be looking into some staple Thanksgiving food items that you should warn your guests against feeding to your dog(s). Along with that, we will also provide simple and tasty pet-friendly dog food recipes that you can prepare for your canine, so they don’t get left out from the feast.

What Your Dog Should NOT Eat at Thanksgiving

In order for your pet to have a safe Thanksgiving, set out strict rules for your family and guests to make sure the following food items are not given to your dog:

• Stuffing – most stuffing recipes contain onions, garlic, and scallions which can prove to be deadly for dogs. Make sure absolutely no stuffing is given to any dog during Thanksgiving.

• Turkey Bones – this can be hazardous for your dog as the sharp, tiny bones can puncture the abdominal walls and intestines. If not treated with proper care, the infection can become fatal too.

• Grapes and Raisins – consuming grapes or raisins can severely harm your dog’s kidneys and must be kept off-limits.

• Chocolate – although dogs love the smell of chocolate, they can be toxic for dogs.

• Ham – pork is a popular item on Thanksgiving, and no matter how much the dog stares at you while you enjoy a piece of ham, do not give in to the puppy’s eyes. If a dog eats pork, it could lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort.

Pet-Friendly Dog Food Recipes

Your dog is just another furry member of the family who deserves to have its own treats this holiday season. Below are tried and tested recipes for your canine that you can prepare this Thanksgiving. From turkey medallions to Thanksgiving casserole – these recipes will have your dog wanting for more.

Thanksgiving Casserole

This dog-friendly dish has it all – complete with turkey, sweet potatoes, and gravy.


• 3 pounds cooked, skinless turkey
• 1 cup cooked oatmeal
• 2 tablespoons cranberry sauce
• 1 pound sweet potatoes
• 4 tablespoons turkey gravy


Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl and mix well. Start off by combining the cooked shredded turkey with oatmeal. Take your sweet potatoes and boil them in water for 5 minutes. Mash the potatoes and add them to the turkey and oats mixture. Once these three ingredients are combined, add the cranberry sauce and turkey gravy for flavor and nutrients.

Turkey and Vegetable Loaf

This is a special recipe that you can make with all the leftover ingredients from your dinner so you and your dog can enjoy your Thanksgiving meal together.


• Finely chopped boneless turkey
• Sweet potatoes, grated or mashed
• Peas
• Carrots
• Green beans
• Celery, grated
• Apple, grated
• Cooked oats
• 1 egg, beaten
• A splash of turkey stock


Take a large mixing bowl and combine all the ingredients together. If the mixture looks too thick, add more moisture by incorporating turkey stock. This will help all the ingredients to combine well. Take a loaf-shaped baking pan and grease it using cooking oil. Add the turkey and veggie mixture into the pan and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave the pan in the oven for 30 minutes. To check if the loaf is fully baked, insert a toothpick, and if it comes out clean, the turkey and veggie loaf is ready for your dog to devour.

Puppy Pumpkin Pies

There’s no Thanksgiving feast complete without dessert. This recipe for puppy pumpkin pies takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and will have your dog drooling over it.


• 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
• 1/2 cup rolled oats
• 1/4 cup applesauce
• Canned pumpkin
• 4 tablespoons water


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Take out your food processor and combine flour and oats till well mixed. Once the flour and oats are minced together, add the applesauce and combine further. To turn it into a dough, add water to the food processor till it gets to a dough-like consistency and then remove the contents onto the flour-dusted countertop. Knead it properly to turn it into a sticky dough and cut 3-inch circles. Use the circles to line muffin pans to make mini pie crusts. Bake the pie crusts for 8 minutes in the oven. Once the pie shells are ready, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool. Once they are completely cooled, take the canned pumpkin puree and add it to the pie crusts. Refrigerate the pies before serving.

Final Thoughts

With all these scrumptious recipes to choose from, your pet dog is bound to have a satisfying meal this Thanksgiving. Before you serve any of these recipes to your dog, do keep in mind that all canines are different, and they react differently to various ingredients. If you are unsure of any allergies and which ingredients are safe for your dog, consult your vet at your earliest so you can come up with a meal plan that takes care of your dog’s dietary needs. Just remember to keep turkey bones, ham, chocolate, and grapes/raisins away from your dog.