Feed This, Not That! – Thanksgiving Edition

One of our favorite things about Thanksgiving is the food. The whole house fills with the aroma of roasting turkey and pumpkin pie. Spot’s sense of smell is well over 10,000 times more acute than ours, so imagine how heavenly the thought of  Thanksgiving treats must be for him!

Since these delicious smells will put him into sensory overload, he’ll likely put his best begging techniques on display: his eyes will be the biggest ever, the slightest pitiful whimper will be heard at just the right time.  We will cave in to all that cuteness and give Spot extra table scraps because it is, after all, his Thanksgiving too.

We absolutely understand extending the holiday cheer to our four-legged kids, but be careful about what you offer!  Some of the most delicious tidbits can cause serious problems for your pup.  So, just in time for Thanksgiving, here is our list of troublesome treats and good alternatives:


Thanksgiving treats

The centerpiece of every almost Thanksgiving dinner, turkey is delicious and our doggies love it as much as we do.  But, as any experienced dog mom or dad can tell you, too much will upset their stomach with disastrous results.

As an alternative, chop up cooked giblets and mix with Spot’s kibble. Save the cooking water to add post-holiday flavor to his food. Optionally, you can add SMALL amounts of shredded turkey to his dinner.


Mmmm, gravy.  Need I say more? You know your boy will love it as much as you do. Don’t give in!  Gravy is much too fatty for him.  It’s just asking for digestive distress.

If you just can’t help yourself, give Spot one of his biscuits with a few tiny dribbles of gravy on it.  He gets the flavor without overdoing it on the fat.


Everyone’s favorite holiday carb! Whether stuffing or dressing, this delicious side dish can be potentially deadly to your pup. Sage can cause gastrointestinal upset, and the onion and garlic can cause a dangerous toxic anemia.

Remember the giblet cooking liquid?  Use this to add some flavor to his everyday kibble.  Spot will never know he isn’t chowing down on the real thing.

Pumpkin Pie

Yes, please! This holiday treat is synonymous with Thanksgiving. While some folks think a small taste of pie won’t hurt your boy, the sugar and some of the spices aren’t good for him.

The internet is full of recipes for pumpkin pie treats for dogs.  Try this one, or opt for the ideas here. Pumpkin is a healthy snack for dogs, so try to incorporate the canned variety (organic is best) in Spot’s diet year-round!

No Brainers

Yes, you know not to let pups get hold of chocolate. And, raw yeast dough isn’t safe for anyone. Poultry bones are a no-no any time of year. Tasty-smelling packaging goes outside before the you go to bed.  You know the routine.

Get the Kids on Board

To avert potential disaster and huge vet bills, it’s important to make sure that the little ones know not to share with Spot.  Try these tips:

Just say no.  Tell the kids (and adults, too) not to give your pets table scraps.  Explain that you don’t want Spot to get sick. Use this as a teaching moment for your littles.

Promise a separate snacking time. Let the kiddos know that they’ll be able to give their furry friends certain snacks (under supervision) after dinner.  This lets the youngsters treat their buddies in a safe way.

And the best tip of all:

Isolate Spot and friends from the festivities.  This will eliminate under-the-table lurkers scavenging and keep the two-legged kids’ food away from the four-legged ones. It will also help them stay calm and safe.

Do you have ideas or tips on how to maintain a pet-friendly holiday meal? If so, let us know! Our visitors will appreciate it!

We wish for you a wonderful Thanksgiving with those you love, whether they be human or canine.







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