How to Make a Thanksgiving Meal for Dogs

While your dog sometimes seems ungrateful to be living in your home rent-free (wipe your muddy paws, Spot!), we know that he’s thankful he’s your #1. As we gather ’round the dining table for the season of gratitude, reciprocate the love by making sure he’s eating only the best! Learn how to make a Thanksgiving meal for dogs.

Build Fido’s Plate With Thanksgiving Foods Dogs Can Eat

Pup’s in luck because so many Thanksgiving dishes are technically made of dog-friendly ingredients. From the sides to the turkey centerpiece, a cornucopia of your holiday dishes can be safe for pupper (as long as you’re mindful of seasonings and add-ons). 

Turkey Meat

Let’s start with the big one; yes, your dog can eat turkey. This main dish will be OK as long as what your dog is eating hasn’t been prepared with seasoning. While that may sound hard to do since you’ll also be eating some turkey (and who wants seasonless meat?), try and give pup a cut that’s farther from where you put the butter, spices, and other no-no bits. You should also try and avoid the turkey skin since that fattier cut can cause some weird gut issues that no one will be thankful for. 

Green Beans

While not everypuppy is a fan of their veggies, green beans are filled with all those things that are good for your dog. If you’ll be buying canned greens beans to use for your casseroles, set some aside for your dog to share (make sure they’re plain)!


There’s a reason every dog loves a pup-kin spice latte; pumpkin is a great, healthy snack for pups. It’s fantastic for their tummies and can help their skin and coat look marvelous (*hint hint* pumpkin is not just a Thanksgiving food). A great way to serve pumpkin this holiday is to use canned pumpkin to stuff his KONG, and then freeze. Pull it out when it’s time for you and your guests to nosh the pie. Just make sure you’re serving him plain canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie mix. 

Sweet Potatoes

If it’s even possible, make pup even sweeter by adding sweet potatoes to her diet this holiday. Set aside some boiled sweet potatoes before you add seasonings for your own meal, or slice and dehydrate them to make a chew. Filled with fiber and vitamins, pup won’t even know it’s not dessert!


Let’s talk about the sweet potatoes’ less exuberant sibling. While not the cutest, with no fun seasonal color, we all know how reliable the shapeshifting potato is. Fido, ever the appreciator of this Thanksgiving stalwart, can enjoy potatoes in their baked or boiled form, as long as you avoid the butter, sour cream, salt, etc. 

Thanksgiving Dessert

What is Thanksgiving without dessert? According to your dramatic dog, NOTHING. Pies or other traditional baked goods are probably filled with sugar and not the best for pup. Fear not, doggo! His sweet tooth can still be satisfied with a smoothie made of seasonal fruits like apples, cranberries, pumpkins, or any other dog-friendly fruits (try it frozen in a KONG!). Add some whipped cream on top!

Thanksgiving Foods Dogs Can’t Eat

These Thanksgiving foods are unhealthy (and some even toxic) for dogs. Avoid them so you can stay home with family this holiday instead of making a trip to the emergency vet.


When it comes to turkey and ham, it’s always a No Bones Day, as they could splinter and become hazards for your dog. If you want to serve your dog a bone this holiday, look for specialty bones at the pet store that have been prepared in a dog-safe way.


While the individual ingredients mentioned above may be good for dogs, their casserole form may not be. Green bean or sweet potato casseroles rely on salty soups or sugary marshmallow fluff to help boost their flavor. While pup may love their taste, his gut won’t.

Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic are both toxic to dogs, and often used to flavor many Thanksgiving dishes. If you’re not sure whether a side includes either ingredient, steer on the safe side and don’t add it to the doggy plate.


Don’t let pupper sniff around the dessert table. Chocolate is an obvious no-no, but also be on the lookout for any sweets prepared with xylitol, which is deadly to dogs.

What’s your dog thankful for this year? Woof at us in the comments and tag @SidewalkDog to share your holiday traditions!

Featured photo: Charles Deluvio

Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and pup parent giveaways on Instagram.

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