Dos and Don’ts of Thanksgiving Table Scraps

As you prepare your shopping list for the biggest American food holiday of the year, you might be wondering if it’s safe to share some of those favorite foods to your beloved pooch. While there are some Thanksgiving foods dogs can eat, it’s important to remember that plain, unseasoned food is your best bet if you would like to share table scraps. However, since you shouldn’t introduce a lot of new foods to your dog that day since it could affect his or her digestive tract negatively, the safest bet to incorporate your pup into Thanksgiving feasting is with extra treats that you know won’t upset your dogs digestion. Keep the Thanksgiving holiday spirit alive for your pup with Old Mother Hubbard “All the Fixins” treats!

Read on for more about the Thanksgiving foods dogs can eat and the Thanksgiving foods dogs should not eat.

Thanksgiving Turkey:

Your pup’s dry or wet food might often contain turkey, so why shouldn’t you carve a slice off the bird to pass along to your dog? If you’re wondering, “Can dogs have Thanksgiving turkey?” know that the many seasonings, herbs, and fat that are added to make this dish delicious aren’t safe for your dog. If you had a plain, unseasoned, low-fat turkey breast slice without the skin, that should be fine in a small portion, but that’s unlikely what’s being showcased at your Thanksgiving dinner. Make sure family members don’t try to share turkey bones with your dog since they can be dangerous as well.

Sweet Potatoes / Yams

Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamins A, B6 and C, as well as iron and potassium. You can share a cooked, plain sweet potato or yam with your dog on Thanksgiving, but make sure the skin is removed and it wasn’t seasoned or doused in butter. Work it into their pet food dish for a healthy, seasonal addition. Or, if you feel more comfortable sticking with treats, check out Old Mother Hubbard’s Beef & Sweet Potato treats!


Can dogs eat gravy? Passing some gravy or broth along to your dog by adding it to their bowl is probably safe, as long as it wasn’t made with onions or garlic, which can be harmful to your pup. If you’re the one fixing a plain turkey breast and want to take the plain broth or gravy from the bird to pass along to your dog, it’s likely safe. Even with plain turkey gravy, it should only be a small portion, otherwise high fat content will upset your pup’s stomach! But if you don’t know what’s been added to the gravy (or turkey), don’t chance it.

Ham/Pork Products:

Yes, those delicious bacon add-ins make many of our favorite Thanksgiving dishes delicious, but pork products shouldn’t be given to your dogs on this day—or any other. (No matter how much they’re begging!) That’s because it can lead to diarrhea, vomiting and pancreatitis. Not to mention, these foods are high in fat and can contribute to obesity issues in dogs.


Whether your family debate is over canned cranberry sauce or a homemade version made with fresh ones, you might be curious about whether cranberries are safe for dogs. In general, a small portion of fresh or dried cranberries or cranberry sauce is likely safe, but too much can lead to an upset stomach. Don’t feed Spot too many new foods at once because you won’t be able to tell what caused stomach issues or an allergic reaction.


These vegetables are another safe orange vegetable to share with your dog on Thanksgiving. They’re also rich in vitamin A and nutrients. You can give your dog plain, cleaned, raw or cooked carrots, but make sure they’re chopped into manageable bites.


It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without this seasoned favorite side dish. But it’s one of the Thanksgiving foods dogs should not eat because the many seasonings aren’t good for them.


If you have plain, unseasoned canned or a fresh, cooked pumpkin available, it’s one of the Thanksgiving foods dogs can eat. Dogs should not have any pumpkin pie since it’s often made with dairy, spices and sugar or xylitol that your dog shouldn’t eat.

Other Culprits:

You likely know not to give your dog these foods, but it’s always worth a reminder. Avoid onions, garlic, grapes and raisins, and chocolate every day of the year since they are poisonous for your dog to eat. When in doubt, buy extra dog treats for the holidays and remind relatives and friends not to feed the four-legged family members anything but approved food and limited treats.

Looking for more Thanksgiving treatspiration? Check out Old Mother Hubbard’s Beef & Sweet Potato, Chicken & Veggie, and Chicken Pot Pie flavored treats!