Thanksgiving Foods Your Dog – And Cat – Can Safely Enjoy

The holiday season is a time for family, and that includes our four-legged family members. While they may not hop on a chair with a placemat on Thanksgiving, we may still feel like sneaking them a treat or two from the feast. Fortunately, there are a few items that are perfectly safe for our dogs and cats.


Our dogs and cats both like and eat meat, so not surprisingly, turkey is a safe bet. There are a few things to keep in mind, though: Remove the skin, bones, and excess fat, anything other than just the meat. Make sure it’s cooked and not seasoned yet, either, which could cause some upset stomachs.

Dog looks up begging for food

Sweet Potatoes

When you’re prepping sweet potatoes, you can toss a few cubes your cat or dog’s way. Make sure they’re boiled or baked and haven’t had anything added to them yet, though. The heavy ingredients we use to make them tastier aren’t so helpful for our pets’ digestion.

Green Beans

It’s important for humans to eat our greens, and some of those staples are perfectly safe for our dogs and cats. Cooked broccoli and leafy greens are among them, but green beans are okay for them, too. Like the foods mentioned before, this is only applicable before they’re prepared with savory ingredients that can be harmful to our pets. If they’re your sous chef ahead of the big meal, though, reward their hard work with a plain green bean or two.

Cat looks at food being prepared

Cooked Peas and Carrots

Peas and carrots are often a side on turkey day, and when you’re prepping them, you can give a few to your dog or cat before you add other ingredients to them, like butter. That’s a little rough on their tummies.

Cooked Squash

Cats are obligate carnivores and it’s debatable how excited either dogs or cats would be about all these veggies, but a bit of cooked squash is also on the safe list. Just make sure you remove the seeds and rind, and if they’re still gobbling up all these veggies, you may have a certified health food nut on your hands.

Dog looks at food being prepared


A variety of berries are on the safe list for dogs and cats, including strawberries, blueberries, and the Thanksgiving staple cranberries. In fact, cranberries are often added to pet food. You’ll want to offer them as a treat to your pet before you turn them into sauce, though. Keep them as a whole food treat, like the other foods listed here.


Pumpkin, which transcends all fall festivities, is versatile in yet another way: It’s good for our pets’ digestion. It’s also a safe Thanksgiving treat for your pet, provided its cooked and plain or from a can with no additives. We may appreciate its final product as a pie, but that’s not the best for our four-legged friends.

Cat sitting at table ready for dinner


If your dessert offerings also include an apple pie, this all-American treat does contain an ingredient your pets can have: apple. You will need to make sure that, again, you let them have it when it’s still plain, and it’s important to remove the skin and the seeds, which can be toxic to dogs and cats. The seeds contain small amounts of cyanide.

Unsafe Items

Because onions and garlic are dangerous for our dogs and cats, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and stuffing are big no goes. These dishes are also often filled with dairy, which we shouldn’t be giving to our pets in large quantities. The sweet treats are also best avoided, especially if the sweetener xylitol is included, as it’s dangerous to pets. If you’re a ham family rather than a turkey family, the extra fat and salt in your ham is not very good for your pet, either.

Are We Missing Items On Your Thanksgiving Menu?

You can find a more comprehensive list of what your dogs and cats can eat here!

Dog sits with family at holiday dinner
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