Thanksgiving Dinner Recipe For Your Dog and Cat

healthy thanksgiving dinner for dogs and catsThanksgiving Ingredients That Are Healthy For Dogs and Cats: Keep It Plain and Simple

Have you ever seen people put traditional Thanksgiving dinner into the dog or cat’s bowl as a “treat?” Well, dogs and cats can’t handle cream, butter, salt and pepper, or other seasonings and ingredients that you and I love on Thanksgiving. But plain turkey, potatoes, and veggies are perfect for a dog-friendly meal. Here’s what you should feed your pet on Thanksgiving:

  • Plain, Skinless Turkey – it’s great for pets, and even considered the safest meat for dogs that are prone to allergies
  • Cranberries – a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants
  • Pumpkin – the plain, pure kind: so no pumpkin pie!
  • Yams –  full of fiber and super healthy
  • Veggies – plain, steamed green beans (not the casserole!), peas, carrots, etc
  • Sweet Potatoes – you all know I love feeding sweet potato treats to my pups every change I get!
  • Plain mashed potatoes – no butter or seasonings! 

Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner For Pets

I wanted to make sure whatever I fed my dogs on Thanksgiving was going to be a tasty treat for them without compromising their health. I’d hate to give them something that would give them upset bellies, diarrhea, or worse! This should be a fun experience, not one that leaves us in the emergency vet!

Back To Basics:

IMG_2231I made a pet-friendly Thanksgiving dinner consisting of:

  • Mashed sweet potatoes with homemade pet-friendly gravy
  • Homemade Pet-Friendly Gravy: pureed pumpkin & turkey or chicken broth
  • Green beans, carrots, and peas (steamed)
  • Skinless, boneless turkey
  • Cranberries

The gravy was my personal favorite… rather than a gravy filled with fat and seasonings that pets certainly can’t have, I blended two things that are so healthy for pets: pumpkin and chicken broth!

IMG_2223This gravy can be used all year long to mix with dry kibble when your dog is bored with the same-old dry flavor and consistency. 

Making A Pet-Friendly Thanksgiving Meal Is Easy!

Since we are a week away from the real Thanksgiving, I didn’t have the roasted turkey or any other ingredients that we’ll have to use on the big day. It’ll be easy on Thanksgiving day to make your dog’s dinner from the ingredients you’re using to make the Thanksgiving meal for your family. 

Instead, I simply bought:

  • Pre-packaged, cooked turkey lunch meat 
  • Canned pureed pumpkin
  • Sweet potato: baked or cooked in the microwave
  • Carrots, Green Beans, and Peas: Canned
  • Cranberries (packaged like raisins) 

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

IMG_2225Since I was tight on time, I just cooked the sweet potato in the microwave for 5 minutes and mashed it with a potato masher. The dogs loved them!

 Verdict: Our Thanksgiving Dog Dinner Was A Hit! 

Jem could hardly wait to try it!

Jem could hardly wait to try it!

She went for the mashed sweet potatoes first...

She went for the mashed sweet potatoes first…

Then went in for the Turkey...

Then went in for the Turkey…

She loved that so much, she licked her plate clean!

She loved that so much, she licked her plate clean!

She played with the veggies more than she ate them! Not her favorite...

She played with the veggies more than she ate them! Not her favorite…

Zoey gave the sweet potatoes a lick...

Zoey gave the sweet potatoes a lick…

Then she took a taste of the turkey...

Then she took a taste of the turkey…

And she decided she wanted to eat her Turkey first, unlike Jem!

And she decided she wanted to eat her Turkey first, unlike Jem!

She liked her plate clean, too... success!

She liked her plate clean, too… success!

Surprise! Buddy is back for the winter season… he’s a snowbird

Buddy also went in for the turkey first thing!

Buddy also went in for the turkey first thing!

He loved it!

He loved it!

Like a good boy he ate his veggies!

Like a good boy he ate his veggies!

Now those are tasty!

Now those are tasty!

The dogs LOVED their healthy pet-friendly Thanksgiving meal, and I’m so glad they could join in on the tradition without risking a belly ache or severe health scare. Happy bellies all around! 

Be Careful: You Can’t Suddenly Switch Your Dog’s Diet

Have you ever decided to suddenly switch your dog’s food without transitioning? Doing so leaves your dog’s digestive system in shambles, and you probably had a ton of piles on the floor to clean. You can’t switch your dog from a bowl of dry kibble to a plate full of human food on Thanksgiving without wreaking havoc on your dog’s tummy. 

Just give your dog a little taste as a treat, but don’t make an entire meal out of it. A small portion of food that isn’t too saturated in fat and oils will be just right! 

Thanksgiving Dinner Beware!

The scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner we all know and love isn’t exactly dog friendly… there are ingredients and components of the traditional Thanksgiving meal that would leave your dog with a belly ache or worse – a table-scrap mishap that leads to an all-nighter at the emergency vet!

I was searching the internet for a dog-friendly thanksgiving meal, and I was actually appalled at how many reputable dog bloggers were saying to use “garlic powder” or fresh, chopped garlic for dogs! They were suggesting that readers use way too many toxic ingredients in their dog recipes, and I feel compelled to set the record straight on what ingredients your dog can and CAN’T have on Thanksgiving. 

Ingredients To Avoid Feeding Your Dog:

  • Onions – contain thiosulphate which is toxic to cats and dogs: causes the red blood cells circulating through your pet’s body to burst
  • Garlic – minute amounts are believed to be non-toxic, but large ingestions are very toxic, so why take the risk at all?
  • Gravy – it’s fatty and known to cause pancreastitis in dogs. No sauces made with wine, either! 
  • Turkey Skin- the seasonings aren’t good for pups!
  • Bones! Dogs are born to chew on bones, but not the brittle and the tiny pieces from Turkeys that cause obstructions in their intestines
  • Stuffing – the bread, salt, and fat isn’t good for your pet! 
  • Casseroles – onions, spices , and butter are a big no, and dairy causes diarrhea! Stay away from casseroles and dishes with more than 2 ingredients for dogs
  • Dinner Rolls – your dog doesn’t process grains or gluten as easily as you do, so it’s not worth giving to your pet

Chief veterinarian with Los Angeles Animal Services says: “Veterinarians experience an increased number of office calls due to digestive problems after the holidays because humans invite their animals to celebrate with high fat meals.”

You don’t want to spend Thanksgiving night at the emergency veterinarian due to a table-scrap mishap! Educate your family and guests on what foods are safe and which ones are not when slipping your dog or cat a treat. And always keep the ASPCA’s poison control center contact info nearby: 888-426-4435.