Holiday foods that are surprisingly good for your dog

Thanksgiving is a time for gorging and sharing with loved ones, but when it comes to your pets, sharing scraps from the table can lead to an unwanted visit to the vet.

Not all human scraps are created equal, and there’s good news for people who want to celebrate turkey day with their favorite furry friend. Veterinarian Dr. Aziza Glass of Freshpet food company says some of the more common foods on Thanksgiving menus are actually good for your dog.

Others, however, can upset their tummies, or worse. The American Kennel Club says veterinarian offices see an uptick in visits during the holidays because dogs have eaten toxic human foods.

Thanksgiving foods you can feed your dog

Military Thanksgiving

Meg Monteforte, right, keeps her puppy "Zoey" from getting into Mary Ann Jones' dinner. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Here are some safe and healthy Thanksgiving options for your dog, according to Dr. Glass and the American Kennel Club:

-Steamed or baked pumpkin — If you’re using pumpkin for a homemade pie or other dish, pumpkin is a vitamin-filled snack you can share with your dog. Dr. Glass says pumpkin is rich in vitamins, iron and potassium, and it’s great for a dog’s digestive system.

-Unseasoned white turkey meat — Turkey is rich in magnesium, zinc and calcium that are good for your dog’s bones, muscles, teeth and coat. But it’s only safe for dogs with no seasoning, no bones and no skin.

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-Cranberries — In small quantities, cranberries can be very good for dogs. Dr. Glass says they help with bladder health and have lots of antioxidants, but cranberries can also cause an upset stomach if your dog eats too many.

READ MORE: Wash your Thanksgiving turkey? Here’s why health experts say no

-Sweet potatoes — This is an easy treat for your dog. Simply throw an extra sweet potato in the oven (you can also boil them), let them cool and remove the skin. They’ve got lots of essential vitamins for dogs and they’re good for the digestive system.

-Green beans — Another easy dish for your dog, but like all other options, they can’t be seasoned.

Thanksgiving foods that are unhealthy or toxic for dogs

Here’s what you don’t want your dog to have on Thanksgiving, according to the AKC:


(Photo by Kirk Mckoy/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

-Turkey bones, skin and gravy
-Mashed potatoes
-Creamed peas
-Chocolate, cookies, pies, and sweets (especially anything containing xylitol)
-Alcoholic beverages
-Raisins and grapes
-Yeast dough
-Fatty foods
-Foods containing spices

If your dog ends up eating something they shouldn’t have, you can call the Pet Poison Helpline (for a $75 fee) or contact an emergency or after-hours vet.