What to Feed Your Pets on Thanksgiving

A list of safe and unsafe items for the furry members of the family

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Thanksgiving is a time for friends and family to celebrate the holiday with delicious food. Add your fur babies to the mix and you may have sick pets on your hands if they get hold of the wrong foods. To keep your holiday free from an unexpected trip to the animal hospital, here’s a list of foods that are safe and not safe for your cats and dogs to eat on turkey day.


NOT SAFE to eat:

Turkey (meat that is heavily dressed with garlic, onions, or shallots or meat with bones)



SAFE to eat:

Turkey (preferably plain white meat) 

Cranberry sauce (plain, without sugar or artificial sweetener in it)

Green Beans (plain, no butter or spices/seasonings)


NOT SAFE to eat:

Turkey bones or skin




Raisins and grapes

Onions and garlic

Canned cranberry

Yeast dough


SAFE to eat:

Turkey (plain meat)

Sweet potatoes (boiled or baked without butter, marshmallows or nuts)

Potatoes (boiled or baked without butter, sour cream, salt or pepper)

Green Beans (plain, without butter or spices/seasonings)

Peas (plain, no creamed peas or peas with butter, spices/seasonings)

Carrots (no butter or spices/seasonings)

Celery (plain)

Corn (no cob)

Rice (plain)

Quinoa (plain)

A little cheese

Pumpkin (plain is best. If using canned pumpkin, use just pumpkin and not the pre-spiced pumpkin pie mix)

Apples (without the core and seeds)


Bottom line, if you’re in doubt about what table scraps are safe and not safe for Fluffy and Fido, opt not to risk it and don’t give them people food. Or, you can check ahead of time with your vet about what you can and can’t give them. 

If your pet accidentally eats the wrong thing, call your vet or Animal Poison Control at 1-888-426-4435.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Written by Mimi Bosarge


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