How to Know Which Thanksgiving Leftovers to Feed a Dog

Often, when the human guests are done eating Thanksgiving dinner, there's still a lot of food left over! Maybe you want to include your dog in the festivities, but aren't sure what food is safe for her. This article will tell you what common Thanksgiving foods are okay for your dog to dine on.


  1. Image titled Host a Thanksgiving Dinner Step 6
    Know that turkey is a good food for dogs. Canines are naturally carnivores, for the most part, and some well-cooked meat will be much appreciated by your dog. However, there are a couple precautions you need to take:
    • Make sure there are no bones in the turkey. A human will take the time to remove a bone from the meat they're eating, but a dog will ignore it. This could cause health complications for your dog if the bone is large or sharp.
    • Cut the meat into small pieces. Large slices of turkey will be difficult for your dog to eat. Smaller pieces will make it easier for him to eat, and it'll slow him down a little so he won't scarf it down in seconds.
  2. Image titled Lose Weight With a Very Simple Diet Step 6
    Know what vegetables are best for dogs. Vegetables are a healthy addition to a dog's diet, and most are happy for a change of pace. Again, make sure you cut the vegetable into small pieces. Good vegetables for dogs include:
    • Green beans
    • Lettuce
    • Carrots
    • Corn (but not on the cob)
    • Celery
    • Mashed potatoes (only if they're plain)
  3. Image titled Use a Bread Maker Step 23
    Try giving your dog some bread. Tear bread into small pieces for your dog. Raw-dough is no good for dogs, though.
  4. Image titled Serve Irish Soda Bread Step 4
    Know that your dog can have apples or pumpkin. If you have a bit of pumpkin or some apple slices left from making Thanksgiving pies, it's okay to pass them to the dog. The pie itself might not be a good idea.
  5. Image titled Make Wine out of Grape Juice Step 5
    Try cranberry sauce in small amounts. Cranberry sauce is fine for dogs, with one caveat-- it's high in sugar. Use caution if you want to introduce your dog to a sugary food like this.
  6. Image titled Make a Raw Food Diet for Dogs Step 2
    Beware of unsafe foods. There are a number of foods that should never be given to a dog. If you have any of these on hand, keep them far away from your dog:
    • Grapes and raisins
    • Onions, garlic, scallions, and leeks
    • Milk and dairy products
    • Spices (and anything that might contain them)
    • Alcohol
    • Fatty foods
    • Salty foods
    • Anything raw
  7. Image titled Prepare a Healthy Meal for Your Pet Dog Step 6
    Use moderation. There are plenty of foods that your dog can eat, but don't give them to her all at once, especially if she isn't used to human foods. Give your dog a small amount of one, two, even three dishes approved above.
  8. Image titled Prepare a Healthy Meal for Your Pet Dog Step 12
    Know that your dog has unique dietary needs. Just like humans, dogs can have allergies and sensitive stomachs. Your dog might be fine with a food that makes your neighbor's dog violently ill. Again, use moderation when introducing your dog to new foods.


  • You might want to feed your dog a bit less at his normal mealtimes if you plan on giving him leftovers. Weight gain is a problem for dogs, too.


  • Be careful when disposing of foods that might hurt your dog. He might be tempted by the smell and try to get to the food.
  • Keep an eye on your dog or put her in a different room during mealtime (and preparation) if she has a tendency to swipe food while no one's looking.
  • Do not give your dog any chocolate. It can be harmful or even fatal to them.

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Categories: Thanksgiving | Feeding Dogs