Making the Ultimate Dog-Friendly Feast

Season’s feastings! Learn how to create the best dog-friendly holiday feast for your pup, homemade dog food and all.

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Some prefer “Autumn.” Others like “Fall.” Your dog? Well, Rover’s too busy patrolling the dining room table to really care what the heck it’s called.

No matter how you refer to this season of gourd-filled goodness, there’s one thing we can all agree on—the food is actually the best ever. Discover what seasonal faves you can safely serve your pup and learn how to make pumpkin-licious homemade dog food.

NOT-SO-DOG-FRIENDLY FALL FOODS

As we’ve established, the hearty flavors of Fall are a huge part of the season—if not the best part! However, some seasonal “comfort food” can actually cause dogs, well, discomfort.

Before you drop a little something under the table for your pup, familiarize yourself with the foods below. Fair warning: You will get hungry while reading this list.

Don’t feed your pup:

  • Stuffing: Steer clear of this popular Thanksgiving dish as it is often seasoned with onions, scallions, chives or garlic, which are all toxic to your pup.
  • Pumpkin pie: This classic dessert often contains xylitol and added spices that are unsafe for dogs. For a healthier option, offer your pup fresh, cooked pumpkin instead.
  • Turkey bones: No bones about it…feeding your dog leftover bones is a no-no because cooked bones can splinter in your pup’s stomach. A rubber chew toy bone is a better alternative.
  • Turkey gravy or turkey skin: These are both heavy in fatty ingredients that can upset your dog’s stomach. If you want to give your pup a turkey taste, remove the skin first.
  • Raw bread dough: TBH, we don’t recommend anyone eating this—but especially not dogs because of the dangerous side effects of consuming yeast.
  • Mashed potatoes: Bad news. Mashed potatoes usually contain butter and milk, which can spell disaster for your pup’s stomach. Dishes with grapes or raisins: These harmful ingredients could be in a variety of dishes—from salad to cookies. Looking for an easy fruit fix? Sliced apples for the win.
Pug sitting at a table staring at food.

Worried about your pup getting into your trash can for a midnight snack? If possible, put your trash can in a kitchen cabinet or garage to prevent dumpster diving. If you can’t isolate the trash then opt for a smooth-edged and heavy-lidded trash because your pup can nudge open even a small lid lip.

SHARE-WORTHY FALL FOODS

As a general rule of thumb, you should avoid serving your pup bones, sweets, nuts, chocolate, alcohol and fatty foods. Though that does mean some classic Fall dishes are off the table, your dog is not totally left out from the good stuff.

Luckily for Rover, we’ve wrangled together a list of dog-friendly foods that they’re safe to enjoy in small amounts (keep in mind they might not be used to these foods). Fair warning: You will get hungry while reading this list, too. Sorry.

Foods that are safe for your pup to eat:

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Plain, cooked green beans
  • Sliced apples without seeds
  • Unseasoned turkey with the skin removed
  • Pureed or fresh, cooked pumpkin (skip the canned pumpkin pie mix, which has added sugars and spice)
Dog staring up.

For more information on foods that your dog can and can’t eat, check out our other article here. (Psst...please serve these foods in small amounts to avoid weight gain and always consult with your vet to make sure your dog doesn’t have any sensitivity to these foods.)

PUP-KIN RECIPES THEY’LL LOVE

We’d be remiss if we didn’t include a recipe featuring the unofficial mascot of Fall! If you’d like to try your hand at an easy pumpkin-licious treat that your pup will love, we have just the recipe for you, courtesy of our friends at the American Kennel Club.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (you can also use fresh, roasted pumpkin, but do not use canned pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (check the label to make sure it has no xylitol)

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F
  • Mix the pumpkin and peanut butter in a large bowl
  • Stir in the flour and combine the mixture into a dough
  • Roll out the dough onto a floured surface
  • Put your favorite cookie cutter to work
  • Place the treats half an inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet Bake for 12 minutes
  • Let them cool completely, serve and wait for your dog to beg for seconds 

Too busy to bake? Mix 1 cup of plain yogurt with 1 cup of pumpkin puree into a bowl and then pour that mixture evenly into an ice tray. After freezing for 24 hours, you’ll have bite-sized, Fido-approved treats. However, keep in mind that lactose can upset your pup's stomach, so this is a treat you’ll want to serve sparingly. For more doggie dessert ideas, take a look here.

A dog looking up.

If you’ve made it this far then you’re well-versed in all the holiday foods that your dog can enjoy…and are also probably dealing with some Fall cravings. Go ahead, treat yourself to a PSL. You’ve earned it.


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