6 Common Holiday Foods Considered Safe for Dogs on Turkey Day

Turkey Day and the rest of the holidays are just around the corner. You’ve likely got your menu planned out already, and it just as likely includes turkey. You may have even planned on picking up some dog-friendly foods and treats so Fido and Buttercup will have their own spread to feast on. But did you know that there are actually several foods already on your list that are safe for them to eat? It’s true. Many of the staples that usually adorn holiday tables are actually okay for them to eat — in moderation, of course. Here’s a list of dos and don’ts you can go by.

roasted turkey
Photo: Pixabay/A-Ray

1. Lean turkey meat is fine for dogs. When we say lean, we mean without fatty skin and predominantly white meat. Dark meat contains more greasy fats that just aren’t good for anybody in large amounts. In fact, you should guard your kitchen trash can or get one with a locking lid because many a canine ends up in the doggy ER near death from overdosing on fat at the holidays. It boils down to pancreatitis, and it can cost you a small fortune trying to save them if it happens. And whatever you do, don’t let them have any bones from the bird.

mashed sweet potatoes
Photo: Pixabay/tomwieden

2. Sweet potatoes are also okay in small amounts. It’s not a good idea to give them scraps saturated in butter, though, or if they’ve basically been candied with syrups and brown sugar or marshmallows. But cooked sweet potatoes are actually an excellent source of fiber and vitamins B6, C, and carotene, which is well-known for being good for the eyes. If you’d rather and you’re planning a pet table, there are plenty of dog-specific sweet potato treats on the market to offer them.

raw cranberries
Photo: Pixabay/lotielin

3. Fresh or dried cranberries, but not cranberry sauce, are also okay for canines. So, if you make yours from scratch, by all means, consider sprinkling or mixing them up in their food bowl or on their plate. The problem with cranberry sauces and jellies is that they contain sugars and may even include xylitol, an artificial sweetener that can poison your pet.

fresh green beans
Photo: Pixabay/lifeinlightspeed

4. Green beans are harmless and most dogs will lap them up, especially if they’re mixed in with other holiday scraps. High in fiber, manganese, vitamin C, and vitamin K, you just want to make sure they’re not slathered in butter or any spices that could react negatively with your dog.

Photo: Pixabay/castleguard

5. Apple slices are another good source of dietary fiber, plus they’re full of vitamins A and C, making them a healthy treat for pets. You don’t want to give them the core, however, because the seeds contain hydrogen cyanide which is released when they’re chewed. You’d have to consume them in pretty large quantities for this to be a factor, but if you made a pie or dessert from them, don’t let the dogs get in the trash.

Photo: Pixabay/pixel2013

6. Pumpkin is not only safe for pets but it’s actually recommended for upset tummies and other digestive issues in dogs and cats. Again, the pumpkin shouldn’t be cooked with or covered in butters, sugars, heavy creams, or spices in order for it to still be considered safe for pets.

If you have any questions about the safety level of other common holiday foods or decorations, check with the ASPCA for a full list of goodies pets should avoid or for using their poison control hotline at (888) 426-4435. Bon appetit!

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