Feast Fit for a King of Beasts

Dear Davi,

I’ve heard terrifying tales of danger for dogs lurking around and under the dinner table. How can I stop myself from retching over something exceedingly unpleasant on Thanksgiving Day?

Bernie the Bassett Hound


Dear Worried Bernie,

It’s no secret that dogs have voracious appetites and, quite frankly, low standards when it comes to food. I wouldn’t have a problem eating a month-old cracker from under the couch cushion or nibbling on an old sock, so it’s no wonder I’m always up for sharing whatever is on my human’s plate, especially during the holidays.

If you’re planning to join the family for the Thanksgiving feast, it’s important to know who can eat what. Human food and dogs don’t get along, especially the flavorful, seasoned dishes served during the holidays.

So what can dogs eat on Thanksgiving? Before gobbling up a heap of goodies, let’s take a moment to examine some fare that’s safe and even healthy for dogs.


Sweet Potatoes While Nana’s candied yams are a hit with people, all that sugar will upset a dog’s tummy. Sweet potatoes alone, though, are a good source of vitamin A, which promotes healthy skin, coat, eyes and muscles, and helps prevent disease and infection. The seasonal spud is  packed with fiber, potassium and many more much-needed nutrients.


TURKEY Thanksgiving, for most families, is all about the bird. Most dogs will beg relentlessly for turkey scraps, but they don’t know that a couple snippets could put them in the emergency room with a life-threatening condition. Cooked turkey is safe, but it must be unseasoned. Turkey bones? Off-limits. They can easily crunch and splinter, damaging the inside of the stomach and intestines. Turkey skin is also a no-no—its rich flavor can make a dog sick. If it’s plain, without extra fats and spices, turkey meat is a healthy protein for pets.


CARROTS Carrots are really good, healthy, low-calorie treats for dogs. They’re rich in minerals and vitamins, which help to improve eyesight and prevent disease. Their rough texture can aid dental health. Raw carrots are sweet and crunchy, which most dogs love, but cooked carrots—unseasoned—are  a tasty treat.


GREEN BEANS Green beans are a casserole staple for some folks, but dogs prefer the snappy veggies raw. Loaded with iron and a great source of fiber, green beans are also low in calories and packed with vitamins—a nutritional bonus. Toss a handful to the hounds before adding Nana’s secret seasoning.


Thanksgiving is all about gratitude, of course—but it’s also about food. My mouth is already watering with hungry joy just thinking of savory smells in the kitchen. As long as you know which grub to snub and which food to fetch, you’re sure to have a safe, happy Thanksgiving.

Be thankful for your family, and the food that keeps you healthy. And remember, the safest treat of all is a recipe of love, attention and playtime.


Davi the Dachshund is grateful for his blessings, especially his sweet mom. He wishes good things for all his friends and fans!