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10 November 2016


Healthy Thanksgiving Dog Treats for Your Pup

Who enjoys holiday foods more—you or your dog? When you serve these healthy holiday dog-safe recipes, neither of you has to share their plate, or bowl!

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You aren’t the only one who can’t wait to eat sweet potatoes, turkey, and pumpkin pie, because these fall flavors excite your pup, too! However, don’t simply give your dog leftovers or table scraps, as these can be dangerous if they contain toxic ingredients. Your dog deserves their own special treat. Fortunately, many easy-to-make and nutritious dog treat recipes feature classic Thanksgiving ingredients that offer real health benefits too! We rounded up a few Thanksgiving dog treat recipes that are certain to make your pup feel grateful for you and your kitchen. 

Turkey Meatballs


Comfy Belly

Turkey is the star of the table, so of course it tops our list of dog-friendly Thanksgiving treats. These Comfy Belly® turkey meatballs are a beautiful blend of seasonal superstar ingredients, turkey and sweet potato. To achieve a traditional meatball shape and consistency, use ground turkey. This recipe is rounded out by two more gentle ingredients—brown rice, which acts as a binder to hold the treat together, and eggs, a great digestible protein source for dogs.

Ollie Recipe Spotlight: Fresh Turkey With Blueberries

Green Bean Crunchy Treats



Can anything be easier than a two-ingredient recipe? We think not! These SkinnyMs. green bean snacks are the perfect pup appetizer. A generous coating of olive oil, which can improve your dog’s skin and coat, provides a delightful crunch. These crunchy treats are also safe for people, so you can enjoy them too, if your dog is willing to share! If your pup can’t get enough green beans, feed them our fresh lamb and turkey recipes, which also feature this lean green veggie.

Sweet Potato Baked Chews


It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken

The traditional holiday casserole with marshmallows includes too much added sugar for your dog, but they can safely snack on these sweet potato slices from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken. You can feel good about serving your pup this superfood, because sweet potatoes are loaded with potassium, fiber, and carotenoids, which are powerful cancer-fighting antioxidants. Sweet potatoes also lend an earthy sweetness to holiday proteins, which is why they’re featured in our Fresh Beef With Sweet Potatoes recipe.

Ollie Recipe Spotlight:  Fresh Beef Dish With Sweet Potatoes

Baked Pumpkin Pie Muffins



Step aside pumpkin pie. Pumpkin doesn’t need sugar or whipped cream to be delicious. This  superfood is loaded with beta-carotene and is a natural remedy for digestive upset in dogs. Bake some pumpkin-flavored love by treating your pet to this Spoiled Hounds pumpkin muffin recipe.

The Benefits (and Risks) of Pumpkin for Dogs

Cranberry Biscuits


Bark and Biscuits

Many dogs turn up their nose to cranberry’s tart flavor, but when you serve these ruby red gems in a biscuit, your pup will beg for more. Cranberries contain antioxidants, which act as natural anti-inflammatories in the body, reduce oxidative stress, and fight damaging free radicals. These berries can also help treat canine bladder infections and may improve your dog’s digestion. This cranberry dog treat recipe from We Are Not Martha also contains mint to keep your dog’s breath fresh for those mistletoe moments. Is your canine crazy for cranberries? Our Fresh Lamb With Cranberries recipe is sure to please their palate.

Ollie Recipe Spotlight: Fresh Lamb Dish With Cranberries

Spaniel Stuffing

If you have extra time to spend in the kitchen, prepare this dog-safe Loews Hotel Spaniel Stuffing recipe. This pet-friendly alternative dish allows you to spoil your dog with the comforting flavors of chicken, celery, mushrooms, and cornbread without fear that they’ll encounter the harmful ingredients found in many classic recipes. Consider turning tradition on its ear and serving this chef-inspired, human-safe dish at your own holiday table!  

Leftover Turkey Dinner Dog Treats

Nobody is more willing than your dog to help you use up holiday leftovers. This Dinner With Julie recipe gives new purpose to leftover plain turkey and veggies. Simply mix them with a protein-rich egg, and hearty oat flour to create savory biscuits. Remember to leave out foods made with onions, garlic, and leeks.

Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Treats

Pumpkin is better when it’s paired with xylitol-free peanut butter, and we think your pup will agree. These healthy peanut butter and pumpkin treats from Allrecipes are made with only four ingredients, plus a pinch of salt and a dash of anti-inflammatory cinnamon. Your dog will also enjoy these fall-inspired pumpkin treats, which you can cut into seasonal shapes using festive cookie cutters. However, your dog knows delicious flavor comes in any shape.

Dog Superfood Thanksgiving Ingredients

If you can’t fathom cooking or baking one more recipe, you can still serve your dog numerous healthy treats on Thanksgiving. Many holiday ingredients are highly nutritious for dogs, and that’s why we’ve put most of them in our Ollie fresh food recipes. However, before you start sharing your Thanksgiving foods with your pup, remember to serve them only in moderation and in their natural state (i.e., no added salt, sugar, seasoning, or sauces). Pup-friendly Thanksgiving superfoods include:

  • Pumpkin — This super squash is packed with satisfying fiber, immune-boosting carotenoids, and vitamins A and C, which can improve eye health. 
  • Cranberries — These ruby red berries contain flavonoids, an antioxidant known to enhance urinary tract health.
  • Sweet potatoes — These root vegetables have a sweet nutrient profile. In addition to vitamins A, B, and C, they’re filled with inflammation-reducing antioxidants and appetite-satisfying fiber. 
  • Carrots — Similar to other orange superfoods, carrots are packed with carotenoids (e.g., beta-carotene) as well as vitamins A and C. Carrots are also low in calories and high in fiber, which makes them a great snack for overweight pups.
  • Apples — While an apple a day may have too much sugar for dogs, a few slices, leaving out seeds and the core, can give them a healthy dose of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. We feature this sweet treat in our Fresh Pork With Apples recipe. 
  • Leafy greens — Dogs can benefit from eating greens. Kale and spinach are mineral-packed powerhouses for pups. If your dog does not find uncooked leafy greens appealing, try lightly steaming the greens before serving. 

              Ollie Recipe Spotlight: Fresh Pork Dish With Apples

Ingredients to Avoid in Homemade Thanksgiving Dog Treats

Although your dog can enjoy many Thanksgiving treats, keep in mind that some ingredients are harmful. Some traditional Thanksgiving foods are too rich for your dog’s digestive tract and can irritate their pancreas. In addition, some common holiday ingredients are toxic to your pup and can lead to serious, sometimes life-threatening complications.

Never feed your dog turkey skin or fat, meat bones, onions, garlic, chocolate, macadamia nuts, unbaked bread dough, raisins, grapes, or foods made with the sugar substitute xylitol. If your dog sneaks a taste of one of these ingredients, notify your veterinarian. 

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