Do you share your fall foods with your dog? Pumpkin, sweet potatoes, turkey, and apples, OH MY! It’s a season that we often associate with big meals and delicious food, so why not share the joy? Before you make your dog a plate, let’s look at which items on your table are considered safe Thanksgiving food for dogs, and which fall foods should be avoided.
This video is part of the Pet Voices PRESENTS series. CLICK HERE to see all the series videos.
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 0:01
Pumpkins, apples, and sweet potatoes. There are a lot of fall foods that can be great to share with your dog, but there are also plenty that you should avoid. And so, we’re going to go through the dos and don’ts of sharing food with your dog this fall. We’re going to answer the question of what can dogs eat on Thanksgiving and which Thanksgiving food not to feed your dog. You may be surprised!
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 0:14
And while the fall is a time for eating and feasting, it’s also a time for gathering with friends and family that you may not normally spend a lot of time with. So, one of the things to keep in mind is that if you have dogs, you want to make sure that you talk to your guests and make sure that they know what they should and shouldn’t give them.
You can educate them on obviously reducing the don’ts that we’re going to talk about. But my go-to tip is to have a bowl of fun seasonal treats that are okay for kids and adults alike to give to your pets if they do something fun or cute or just because.
DOG SAFE FRUIT AND VEGGIES
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 0:48
And for a lot of dogs, mine included, fruit and vegetables are a normal thing. And so, when fall comes along, there’s a lot of apples and applesauce. And those are actually great things.
So, let’s start with some positives. Apples are wonderful. I actually brought one down, my favorite, Honeycrisp. And my dogs love this, but the thing to be careful of is the core and the seeds can have some poisonous traits to them. There is arsenic. There are some things that are not good. So, you can give them pieces of your apple with the skin and all, but don’t give them the core or the seed.
And specific to applesauce, for my dogs, they love it, but you have to make sure that it’s all-natural. No added sugars or anything like that. It should just be apples. That should be the ingredients. Apples and maybe water. Let’s see what’s in the ingredients. Organic apples and ascorbic acid to maintain color. That’s actually okay. It’s not a thing that’s going to harm your dog. But just make sure it’s pure.
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 1:44
And I think a lot of apple sauces also include spices sometimes. So, that’s another thing that you want to watch out for when treating your dogs in fall. It’s not just the sugar. It’s also the other extra things that could go in there, so like Chloe said, just apples.
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 1:58
They like them though.
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 2:00
And another seasonal fruit that your dogs can enjoy are cranberries. I like to think of them as the fall blueberry. They’re a good snack because they’re just bite-size. You can kind of just throw them to your dog and they can enjoy them as is.
But I know, Chloe, gives her dogs a special frozen treat, which is a special veggie.
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 2:19
Yes, green beans. It’s that time of year, green bean casserole, all those things are happening. Green beans on their own, frozen, raw, or cooked, actually any of the forms are great. My dogs really like them frozen. There’s something about the crunch I think they like, so I buy bags of frozen green beans for treats and just use them all the time. So much so that when I open the freezer door now, they come running.
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 2:44
Yeah, my dogs love the crunch too, so I can see how that’s a win.
But don’t give them green bean casserole. There’s too much other stuff in there. So, just give them green beans by themselves in any of those forms.
And now onto the biggest thing of the fall season: pumpkin. It’s a great year-round for your dogs. You can give it to them, but you want to make sure it’s raw pumpkin. It’s not pumpkin pie filling. It’s not pumpkin pie. It’s not anything with spices or sugar added to it. It’s just raw pumpkin. When you are looking for your cans, make sure it’s just raw pumpkin in a can.
You can also buy pie pumpkins and cook those up for your dogs as well. It’s a little bit more work than obviously just buying a can, but that’s totally possible.
And another fun fact is that pumpkin seeds are actually safe for dogs as well. So, if you want to roast those up, those can be a fun little holiday treat for your dogs in the fall season.
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 3:36
And to stay in the theme of squash-like things, butternut squash is actually something that can be great for your dog but cook it if you can. Only because there are some dogs who have a sensitive digestive tract. And having two dogs with that, I really relate to that statement.
It’s easier on their digestive tract if it’s cooked. That doesn’t mean there aren’t dogs that can eat it raw and it’s not going to harm them. It’s just a little harder to digest. So, cooked butternut squash is a great treat. But again, don’t add things to it. It doesn’t need butter or salt. Your dogs don’t need those types of things. Just a clean, fresh, only butternut squash.
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 4:12
That is definitely a trend you will see here. Don’t add anything to it. They will like it just as nature intended.
And again, on that same track are sweet potatoes. And with sweet potatoes, you do definitely want to cook them to make sure that they are safe for your dogs to consume. But don’t add any sugar, any marshmallows, any brown sugar, or anything else to them. Just cook them up. It’s a great thing that you can mix into your dog’s meal.
So, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and butternut squash – all of the orange foods.
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 4:41
Themed for fall.
And not quite in line with the color but definitely a fall food, especially for Thanksgiving time, are beets. Beets are actually great and I just learned this in doing research for this. I’m going to add them to Onyx’s meals because he is a dog who has some liver issues. And beets are full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients that it just helps. So, those things promote liver health and healing. He has liver issues. So, they’re great in that sense.
And you can give them to them in any form. I know sometimes you get them in cans and stuff. I’m excited I can start slicing up some beets and adding them to his food.
So, beets are a good, colorful addition.
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 5:25
Yes, they’re very colorful.
And another veggie that is safe for dogs, so you can give it to them, are brussel sprouts. It’s something that in my adult life I found delicious. Whereas as a child I didn’t necessarily enjoy it. But I think that’s all about the method of cooking.
They are another food that’s full of a lot of benefits for your dogs. They are not only full of vitamins and fiber. But again, they have antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation, so they’re a great food to give to your dog with no salt, no balsamic vinegar, and no added anything. Just on their own. Roast them up and they will enjoy them.
IS PEANUT BUTTER SAFE FOR DOGS?
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 6:02
And brussel sprouts are great frozen. That’s another frozen treat that I keep in my freezer for my dog sometimes. So, it’s crunchy. But yes, like Jessica said, natural.
Another thing that is popular a lot – definitely right now – just in treats and in different cooking, is peanut butter. And dogs love peanut butter. It’s one of those things and can be a great distraction for them. You’ll see people give it to them in a treat or something because they will lick and lick for a long time.
However, you want to make sure there are no added sugars and definitely no xylitol. So, we always just buy whatever all-natural peanut butter is available.
Xylitol is the big thing. Just watch out for any additional stuff. You want to keep it as clean as possible.
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 6:45
If you see a lot more than just peanuts on the ingredient list, it’s probably not the peanut butter for your dog.
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 6:51
And they do make special peanut butter just for dogs.
SAFE THANKSGIVING FOOD FOR DOGS
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 6:55
And some of them actually have some extra supplements in them. That’s great.
And I know my dogs love peanut butter. It’s a great way to kind of distract them during nail clippings, baths, and other things like that which they don’t normally love. An extra layer of peanut butter definitely helps them.
And then the big one: turkey. So many people around Thanksgiving and even into the Christmas holiday make turkey. And turkey by itself is a perfectly safe choice when it comes to Thanksgiving food for dogs, but the problem with turkey is that often we add a lot of other things to it. We add spices, we add onions, we add flavorings. That’s just something to consider, If you do want your dogs to be able to enjoy a special turkey, maybe buy a small turkey breast so that you can cook it bland, plain, and with nothing added. Then you can infuse your turkey with spices and other delicious flavorings and enjoy that.
Specifically, the seasonings you want to look out for are onions and sage.
And then, with the turkey itself, you want to also avoid bones. Poultry bones, when cooked, are super brittle. They can cause so many health disasters. DO NOT give your dogs any cooked poultry bones.
And then the other big piece to avoid are the fatty parts. That can just cause a whole bunch of digestion issues for them. So, you want to just avoid any extra fatty parts and really stick to the lean meat for them.
AVOID TABLE SCRAPS
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 8:13
And I think a big takeaway in general from all of this is the idea of table scraps and giving them to your dogs. Especially like Jessica said in the beginning, with people coming over who are maybe not with your dogs all the time and want to feel good about giving them a special treat. However, this is something that should be considered all year, not just when discussing dogs and Thanksgiving food. You want to avoid any of the food that you prepare for yourself because you are seasoning it and you’re doing things to it to make it good for you. But that also means it’s not great for your dog.
So, think about that as your cooking. Set aside a couple of green beans. Set aside a couple of beets. Set aside any of the things that are acceptable, like pumpkin, for your dog. And have that be a separate little feast for them of safe Thanksgiving food for dogs. That way you can share the celebration without potentially harming them with any spices, fatty things, sugars, or stuff that they just shouldn’t get because it’s going to be hard on their stomachs. Or it’s going to get them sick. A smaller portion size will also help prevent you from having to search for ways to help your dog lose weight this fall season!
We want to avoid episodes of pancreatitis, which is something that can happen when your dog eats something that it shouldn’t. Their pancreas freaks out and then you’ve got an ill dog. You don’t want that, so keep it happy. Keep their little meals a little bit separate. And then, you can share and enjoy together. And you each have your own little version of a nice little meal.
EVERYTHING IN MODERATION
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 9:16
And if you have leftovers of the dog’s food as well, that’s great because you’ll have leftovers to eat. And then everyone has leftovers for the week after Thanksgiving. It’s perfect.
And another main theme is to really just keep everything in moderation. Just because brussel sprouts, butternut squash, and turkey – all-natural and plain – are safe for dogs, that doesn’t mean that they should gorge themselves and eat unlimited amounts.
We may feel like we should do that on Thanksgiving sometimes but do as I say and not as I do in this situation. And it’s especially true for your dogs to make sure that they enjoy some nice things that they don’t normally get, but they aren’t having an endless buffet.
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 9:55
Very true. I know my dogs would like an endless buffet, especially Onyx.
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 9:58
Yes, Luna says, sign her up.
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 10:01
Yup, they are first in line for that. But yes, so true.
We hope you took away from this some ways that you can connect with to share food with your dog, but in a safe way. In a way that is best for them. In a healthy way that you can bond with them over this idea because we do love that. We love sharing things with our dogs.
So, if you have other ideas and other ways in which you share food with your dog, please let us know. We want to expand our knowledge of what kinds of foods are great for us and our dogs to have together.
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 10:25
And if you do have any of those things, leave us a comment, so that we know what you’re feeding your dogs this holiday season.
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Tell us! What is the most popular Thanksgiving food for dogs in your house?