Holiday Treats For Pets

One of the best parts about the Thanksgiving holiday is the amazing food that is shared among friends and family. During the holidays it can be tempting to share the feast with your pets, and luckily, with a little care it is possible to give them a small treat.

Some Thanksgiving favorites can be tasty treats and have some health benefits for pets:


Plain turkey meat without any of the fixings (see note on onions/garlic below) is loved by many pets and in small portions can be a healthy treat. Just be sure to keep the full bird out of reach as stuffing and bones can be dangerous; plus, no one wants to lose an entire turkey to an opportunistic pet.


Full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, pureed pumpkin can be a healthy treat for both dogs and cats. In fact, if your pet is struggling with diarrhea, the fiber in pumpkin puree can help with their digestion. However, pumpkin pie does not count since ingredients like sugar and cinnamon can counteract the fiber benefits and make your pet sick. As you are making your pie, consider setting a small scoop or two of unsweetened puree aside as a dessert treat. 

Popcorn & Cranberries

One fun way to use up any left-over cranberries from your feast is to create a popcorn garland. These edible decorations can also become fun treats for your pets, provided you take a few precautions. Full of beneficial vitamins and minerals, cranberries can be healthy treats for both cats and dogs when given in moderation. Aim for natural, unsweetened cranberries and avoid sweetened varieties or mixes that contain raisins (see below). Take caution to make sure that your pets do not ingest the strings; the best option is to set aside a small bowl with popcorn and cranberries for your pet to enjoy as you make your garlands. If you hang up the garlands, take care to keep them out of reach of pets.

If you are preparing treats for your pets this holiday, there are a few precautions that you will want to keep in mind. While some thanksgiving treats can be healthy for pets, other can upset their digestion or even be toxic:


Grapes in all forms are toxic to pets and can cause kidney damage. Take extra care when adding them to salads or stuffing, and make sure that they stay out of reach of pets.

Turkey Bones

While turkey may be a great treat for pets, the small fragile bones are not. The bones, often brittle from cooking, can snap into sharp pieces that can cause damage to your pet’s digestive system if ingested. Be sure to completely remove all bones before serving turkey to your pets.


Great for spicing up stuffing, salads, potatoes, and more, these members of the allium make the top 20 list of dangerous foods for pets as they can potentially cause anemia in dogs and cats. 

Happy Thanksgiving from the Deer Park Gazette! We hope that you and your pets have a happy and safe holiday!

Photo By Slavy Darozhkin

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