Thanksgiving pets

Thanksgiving is a time to gather around the dinner table with family and friends. If you are anything like us, that means our pets too. Here are some tips on how to include your pets in Thanksgiving, while keeping them healthy and happy.

What is safe for my pet to eat this Thanksgiving?

  • White meat turkey without the skin. The skin is too fatty and is often cooked with salty seasonings.
  • Raw turkey or duck gizzards and neck
  • Plain sweet potatoes without the skin
  • Carrots, broccoli, or string beans without any butter, sauce or seasoning
  • Plain canned pumpkin (no spices or sugar)
  • Sliced raw apples

What is unsafe for them to eat?

Most Thanksgiving dishes contain fatty foods such as butter and cream, which can cause pancreatitis.

This potentially deadly inflammation of the pancreas can cause severe diarrhea or vomiting. If your dog or cat gets into cooked turkey on the bone, the bone can splinter in the trachea, and possibly result in death. Be cautious that they do not get in to anything with alcohol, grapes or raisins, onions or chocolate all of which can be deadly to cats and dogs.

From our family to yours

Happy Thanksgiving!

Holiday Dinner for Your Pet

Portion Size

For small dogs, 3/4 cup; medium dogs, 1 1/2 cups; larger or more active dogs, 3 cups.


Add 400 mg of calcium per 1-cup serving 600 mg if using bone meal


Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Makes: 9 1-cup servings


3 lb/1.3 kg skinless turkey pieces (light and dark meat)

1 cup (about 6 oz/175 g) oatmeal (cooked)

1 lb/450 g sweet potatoes, cubed

2 tbsp cranberry sauce (no sugar)

4 tbsp turkey gravy (optional; to reduce the fat content, omit the gravy or substitute olive oil)


Use turkey leftovers or roast the turkey:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Lightly oil a roasting pan.
  2. For boneless breast or thigh, cook 30–45 minutes; boned breast or thigh, 45–60 minutes; whole turkey, 1 1/2–2 hours or until the meat juices run clear when pierced with a skewer. Let cool.
  3. Remove all the bones and dice the meat into large pieces.
  4. If using fresh sweet potatoes, roast with the turkey for about 25–30 minutes or until tender. Let cool, then peel and dice.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the oatmeal according to package instructions.
  6. Mix together the turkey meat, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce. If using gravy or oil, add it now and mix thoroughly. (If your dog is at all prone to pancreatitis or other fat-related upsets, omit the gravy.)
Adapted from The Healthy Dog Cookbook: 50 Nutritious and Delicious Recipes Your Dog Will Love. Published by TFH Publications, 2008. Used by permission. © Ivy Press Limited