Not everything on your Thanksgiving table is safe to feed to your dog. Added sugar, fat, and other ingredients that may not be good for canines should not go in your dog’s stomach. That's why you need the best Thanksgiving dinner recipes for dogs.
If you don’t have anything but dog food on hand, you and your guests may be tempted to feed your dog something that isn’t healthy. Turkey skin, sweet potatoes made with sugar and marshmallows, onions, and many other common Thanksgiving foods could make your pet very ill. Instead, make one of these homemade, safe-for-dogs recipes from around the web.
These dishes are all safe and healthy. You could even make enough to keep leftovers so your pup can enjoy the Thanksgiving feats as long as you do. Just remember, if your dog has any special dietary concerns it is best to consult your veterinarian before trying any new recipes with him.
RECIPE VIDEOS: Homemade Dog Food & Treat Recipes
25 Best Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes for Dogs
Thanksgiving Main Dishes for Dogs
1. Thanksgiving Dinner for Dogs
This simple recipe from The Bark incorporates freshly cooked or leftover sweet potatoes, turkey, oatmeal, gravy, and cranberry sauce in a bowl full of healthy, festive food your dog will enjoy. If you need the recipe to be lower in fat, you can omit the gravy or substitute a little olive oil.
2. Roasted Turkey Medallions
White meat turkey, chopped carrots, and quinoa or oatmeal (your choice) combine in these protein-packed balls. They’ll bake up quickly so you can free your oven for other dishes.
3. Turkey Delight
If you want to make a truly healthy Thanksgiving dinner recipes for dogs, try this Turkey Delight homemade dog food. With ingredients including turkey filet, oatmeal, quinoa, butternut squash, and organic brown flax seed, it’s one of the most nutritious items on this list. It will look like dog food, not a gourmet meal for humans, but that doesn't mean your guests won't be tempted to eat it.
4. Golden Turkey and Apple Meatloaf
The creator of this doggy dinner calls it “Thanksgiving Veggie Smuggle Dog Dinner,” because it’s not just meat. This yummy meatloaf is full of apples, celery, peas, sweet potatoes, and chicken stock.
You probably have all of these things on hand for your own people food anyway, so it’s easy to prepare for your dog. You can even save the leftovers in the freezer for another day.
5. Woof-Worthy Souffle
An easy recipe with chicken, pumpkin, carrots, and green beans, this simple souffle can be baked in the oven or microwaved if the turkey is taking up all the room.
6. Turkey Leftover Hound Hash
Combine the delicious flavors of Craisins (make sure the only ingredients are cranberries and sugar), sweet potatoes, and diced white potatoes to make a filling hash you’ll mix with white and dark meat. Since this is one of the more rich Thanksgiving dinner recipes for dogs, you’ll want to serve an appropriately small portion to your dog depending on his size and dietary needs.
Here’s a hint on turkey safety from the recipe creator: “To cut up turkey meat, especially dark meat, for your dog, always cut small and dice across the grain. This method will help you detect the splintery leg bones in the thighs that look just like the meat itself.”
7. Turkey Gobbler
A unique twist on Thanksgiving dinner recipes for dogs, this Turkey Gobbler is a simple casserole composed of ground turkey, peas, carrots, and cinnamon with homemade applesauce on top.
8. Mini Muttballs and Ditalini
Your choice of ground meat, carrots, cheese, breadcrumbs, and spices combine to make little meatballs that you’ll serve with ditalini pasta. If you’re having a non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner that doesn’t include turkey and sweet potatoes, this is a great option for your dog.
Thanksgiving Treats for Dogs
1. Apple Asiago Dog Treats
Barley flour, oatmeal, two kinds of cheese, and applesauce make these crunchy treats you can cut out in any shape you wish.
2. Paws-Itively Peanutty Crudites
While most hors d'oeuvres aren’t suitable for your dog, these veggie sticks dipped in natural peanut butter are a perfectly healthy snack. You’ll need to spread peanut butter on each carrot stick, celery stick, or apple slice before serving.
3. Homemade Turkey and Sweet Potato Treats
The addition of carrots, kale, and pumpkin to these simple homemade turkey and sweet potato treats make them an option you can feel good about offering your dog on the big holiday. Follow the video for easy instructions on how to prepare these.
4. Easy Pumpkin Treats
These easy-to-make treats use flour, baby food, and canned, pureed pumpkin for a very simple snack that you can quickly prepare for your dog. If you don’t have much time, it’s a quick recipe so you can still include your dog in the Thanksgiving meal.
5. Crunchy BBQ Liver Dog Treats
Instead of throwing away the giblets from your tukey, blend them up to combine with bacon, sweet potatoes, oats, and a not-too-spicy BBQ sauce for some crunchy, flavorful treats that are also gluten-free.
6. Canine and Company Chips
Have you ever made veggie chips? These low-fat, unsalted chips are made from sweet potatoes and rutabagas that you dehydrate at a low temperature in your oven for a few hours. Make these the day ahead so your oven is free for the big day. Who knows, your human guests may even like them!
7. Chicken Flavored Dog Biscuits
If your dog loves the taste of chicken, don’t let him snack on Chicken in a Biskit crackers – the extra salt and fat isn’t good for him. Instead, make Martha Stewart's Chicken Flavored Dog Biscuits with wheat germ, brewer’s yeast, and chicken stock.
They’re simple to make and the recipe makes five dozen. You’ll have plenty on hand either for leftovers or for sharing with visiting dogs.
8. Gluten-Free Cranberry Cheese Cookies
While fresh, unsweetened cranberries are much too tart for most humans to enjoy, dogs don’t taste the same way we do. That means your Fido will be able to enjoy these Gluten-Free Cranberry Cheese Cookies, which are excellent for his bladder health.
FURTHER READING: Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Dogs
1. Apple Oatmeal Homemade Dog Treats
These treats are chewy, low in fat, and full of nutritious fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, and bananas. They start with a base of whole wheat flour and oats for good fiber.
The longer you bake them, the longer their shelf life will be (and the more crunchy they will become). They are one of the easiest Thanksgiving dinner recipes for dogs, so you may even want to make them at other times of the year.
2. Pet-Friendly Pumpkin Smoothies
Blend plain, non-fat yogurt and canned pumpkin for a smoothie your dog can enjoy in liquid or frozen form (choose frozen for less mess and a longer-lasting treat). This recipe makes eight servings, so you’ll have extra for other dogs or another day.
3. Homemade Pumpkin Pie Treats
While these look just like the original, they’re actually one of the sugar free Thanksgiving dinner recipes for dogs. The crust is made of oatmeal and the filling of natural canned pumpkin (make sure to get the version that contains no additional spices, sweeteners, or additives; alternately use your own pureed, roasted pumpkin or butternut squash).
You can add yogurt on top to make it look like you’ve dolloped the treats with whipped cream. Make sure to warn guests that these aren’t for them, since they do look like the real thing.
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4. Yapple Pumpkin Pie
For these simple, low-calorie treats, you just peel and core an apple, spoon canned pumpkin on top, sprinkle with a little cinnamon, and bake for 30 minutes. You can serve them warm or make them last longer by freezing them before giving them to your dog.
5. Apple Crunch Pupcakes
Applesauce, chopped apples, vanilla, whole wheat flour, and honey – this sweet treat makes a very cute-looking and yummy-tasting finish to your pup’s Thanksgiving dinner.
6. Sweet Potato Cookies
Without the sugar, these banana, sweet potato, and quinoa flour cookies aren’t really so unhealthy. In fact, you can serve them as a first course for your dog if you like.
7. Pumpkin Pie Dog Biscuits
This is not one of the easiest Thanksgiving dinner recipes for dogs, but it's worth the prep time. With pumpkin, peanut butter, oats, whole wheat flour, and the distinctive flavors of cinnamon, ginger, and allspice, these Pumpkin Pie Dog Biscuits are a welcome addition to your dog’s holiday meal.
They’ll smell wonderful while baking and can be stored in an airtight container for two weeks if you bake them until crunchy. If you prefer a softer dog biscuit, you can store them in your refrigerator for a few weeks or in the freezer for several months.
8. Hypoallergenic Molasses Treats
These treats can help to keep your dog’s skin allergies (and itching) under control. Simply combine oats, oat flour, molasses, and a couple other easy-to-find ingredients to make a wheat-free treat that will keep your pooch comfortable.
9. Puppykin Muffin Treats
Rounding off our list of Thanksgiving dinner recipes for dogs, these Puppykin Muffin treats start with flax, oat bran, whole wheat flour, and pumpkin puree. Then add some raw sugar and oil for a once-in-a-while indulgence. You can make them in a regular size muffin tin, or, if you’re concerned about your dog’s sugar and fat intake, make them in a mini muffin tin so that the portion size is smaller.