Feast Paws: Unleash the Flavor with Pet-Friendly Holiday Meal Ideas!


Want to give your pup a special Thanksgiving meal this year?  Needing some fun easy ideas to enhance their mealtime during the holiday? Check out our list of pup-friendly foods that your dog can enjoy with the family this year~

Pet-safe holiday proteins

Highly digestible, quality protein is a building block for nearly every physiological function in your pet’s body, and probably also your holiday table centerpiece. Give your pet what they crave this holiday season with a moderate serving of selected proteins, including:

  • Turkey — Turkey is a lean, relatively mild meat that is well-tolerated by most dogs and cats. Small pieces of cooked turkey are a perfectly safe and healthy option for your pet, as long as you select only white meat. Remove all skin, fat, gravy, and seasoning, to prevent dangerous and painful pancreatitis, and never give your pet bones that can splinter, and cause internal bleeding or intestinal obstruction.
  • Salmon — Well-cooked (i.e., steamed, poached, grilled, roasted, or baked), boneless salmon is a healthy protein in omega-3 fatty acids. Never give pets raw or undercooked salmon, which may contain a harmful parasite, and lead to salmon poisoning disease. Canned salmon packed in water—not oil—may be used. 

Pet-safe side dishes

What would a holiday dinner be without sides? These complementary dishes may stand in the turkey’s shadow, but you and your pet know that their flavors make the meal. Bring some healthy, nutritious color to your pet’s plate with these undeniable supporting acts:

  • Sweet potatoes — Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins, beta-carotene, potassium, and fiber. Serve these to your pet mashed, dehydrated, or roasted, but keep them plain—leave off the sugar, butter, and marshmallows, which may contain harmful xylitol.
  • Green beans and carrots — Serve these veggies raw or lightly steamed, with no seasonings. Pets love the snappy texture, and you’ll enjoy your guilt-free generosity. 
  • Corn removed from the cob — Corn is a natural protein, carbohydrate, and fiber source for pets that actually contains beneficial antioxidants. However, never give your pet a corn cob, which is indigestible, and a common cause for intestinal blockage.

Pet-safe desserts

To round out your pet’s meal, we must include dessert. Fortunately, you have several choices to satisfy your pet’s sweet tooth without sacrificing nutrition, including: 

  • Apples — Make a pet-friendly apple “pie” by combining chopped antioxidant-rich apples, crushed graham crackers, and xylitol-free applesauce to a hollow food toy. Ensure you remove all seeds, which contain harmful arsenic.
  • Pumpkin — Use only pure pumpkin—not pie filling—and add graham cracker crumbs for a pie-like delight. Or, mix with xylitol-free, low-fat yogurt for a slightly sweeter taste.
  • Cranberry sauce — If your pet prefers tart flavors, plain cranberry sauce (i.e., with no xylitol, alcohol, raisins, or currants) is pet-safe in small amounts. But, keep portions small—most cranberry sauces are high in sugar. 

Pass the plate on these pet holiday hazards

While you can easily be swept away with the spirit of giving, you’ll want to protect your pet from most holiday offerings. Avoid feeding your pet the following:

  • Gravy — Meaty gravy is commonly seasoned with onions, and high in fat, salt, and herbs, which may trigger gastroenteritis or pancreatitis.
  • Bones — Pets can choke on bones, or suffer internal bleeding or intestinal blockage, after swallowing splintered shards.
  • Yeast dough — Raw dough can rise inside your pet’s stomach, causing painful distention and fermentation.
  • Alcohol — Pets may sip sweet drinks, and suffer alcohol poisoning.
  • Foods containing xylitol — This natural sugar substitute, found in keto-friendly and sugar-free recipes and products, causes hypoglycemia and liver failure in dogs.
  • Nuts — All nuts are high in oil and fat, a known precursor to pancreatitis. Macadamia nuts are especially toxic, and affect nerve and muscle function.
  • Candy — In addition to hyperglycemia, candy ingestion can lead to pancreatitis, xylitol toxicity, choking, and intestinal blockage, if wrappers are consumed.
  • Chocolate — All chocolate is dangerous for pets, and especially baking, dark, and unsweetened chocolate. Chemical compounds stimulate the heart and nervous system, and cause toxic effects. 

Prevent accidental ingestion by storing all kitchen waste—turkey bones and carcass, in particular—out of your pet’s reach. Ensure trash cans are lidded, and kept behind a barrier.