Festive Thanksgiving Fare that is Safe for Pets

Thanksgiving pet safety.

Thanksgiving is a time for togetherness and sharing the seasonal harvest, and the team at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital has some tips to help you include your pets safely in the celebration. Just be sure to mention to your guests that food sharing with Fifi is a no-no and that you already have a tempting, pet-safe platter prepared!

Pets and people foods typically don’t mix, but there are some mouth-watering exceptions. With a little pre-planning, you can cater a delicious and nutritious holiday feast for your pets. 

Build an Instagram-Worthy Pet Platter

You can create a safe, appetizing dish of festive foods for your pets using a selection of ingredients you already have on hand for Thanksgiving dinner. Many of the foods you’re using are perfectly safe for your cats and dogs when used without salt, butter, sugar, fatty gravies, and other seasonings.  

Remember to keep the samples small—moderation is key—and when in doubt about a food’s safety, don’t feed it to your pets. 

Pass the Turkey 

Skinless, boneless white meat from the middle of the turkey breast makes the perfect main course for your cat or dog. Cats can typically tolerate dark meat, too. 

Pet-Friendly Toppings

Peruse the pet aisle at your local store for premade, pet-specific gravies, sauces, soups, and bisques that you can use as pet-safe turkey toppings.

Say Yes to Veggies

Offer your pet a selection of side dishes that includes steamed carrots, fresh green beans, boiled and mashed sweet potatoes, asparagus, and green bell peppers.  

Pumpkin Puree

Plain, unseasoned pumpkin puree will taste great to your pets and can actually help tame tummy troubles, which can be particularly helpful after a holiday meal! 

Don’t Forget Dessert

Offer your pets a sweat treat in the form of seasonal fruits without toppings like whipped cream or sugar. Try cranberries, apple slices, blueberries, peaches, and strawberries.

Turkey Table Don’ts

While there are plenty of foods that you can safely share with your pets, there are also some harmful ingredients that are commonly found on the Thanksgiving dinner table. 

Do not feed your pets any of the following:

  • Greasy, high-fats foods such as turkey skin or butter: Can lead to life-threatening pancreatitis
  • Onions and garlic: Can lead to hemolytic anemia
  • Raisins and grapes: Can cause kidney failure in dogs
  • Foods containing xylitol: An artificial sweetener that is extremely toxic to pets
  • Chocolate: Extremely toxic
  • Sugary foods such as pies, cookies, and other desserts: Can cause gastrointestinal distress

The doctors and team at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital are here to help you keep your pets healthy year round with wellness visits that include nutritional guidance for ongoing quality of life. If you have any questions at all about foods that are safe to share with your pets on special occasions, please contact us at (916) 624-PETS (7387).