Thanksgiving is this week! Where has the time gone? We hope your holiday will be full of family, friends, and of course, food! While you’re preparing for the feast, keep in mind that some of the foods we may serve this Thursday, while tasty to us, can be dangerous to our dogs.

Frank is thinking big when it comes to his dinner. Photo by Tony Alter via Flickr.Onions, raisins, chocolate, hops (found in beer), Macadamia nuts, raw yeast dough, caffeine, nutmeg, and paprika can all cause serious (and potentially fatal) illnesses in dogs and should be avoided altogether. Garlic and white potatoes (especially potato peels) are up for debate; some experts say they can cause health issues for dogs, others say they are OK in small amounts. Nuts (especially salted), citrus fruits and oil extracts, dairy products, and pepper can all cause digestive trouble, and should be used very sparingly or avoided altogether.

That doesn’t mean that Fido has to miss out on the Thanksgiving fun, however! Here are some dog-friendly recipes you can make to show your pup just how thankful you are for him.

Thanksgiving Dinner for Dogs, via TheBark.comThanksgiving Dinner for Dogs

3 lb/1.3 kg skinless turkey pieces (light and dark meat)
1 cup (about 6 oz/175 g) oatmeal (cooked)
1 lb/450 g sweet potatoes, cubed
2 tbsp cranberry sauce
4 tbsp turkey gravy (optional; to reduce the fat content, omit the gravy or substitute olive oil)

1. Cook the turkey according to directions.
2. Remove all the bones and dice the meat into large pieces.
3. If using fresh sweet potatoes, roast for about 25–30 minutes or until tender. Let cool, then peel and dice.
4. Cook the oatmeal according to package instructions.
5. Mix together the turkey meat, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce.  Optional: Add gravy or oil and mix thoroughly. (If your dog is at all prone to pancreatitis or other fat-related upsets, omit the gravy.)

Serve an appropriately sized portion for your pooch.  Refrigerated any additional portions so your pup can enjoy his own Thanksgiving leftovers!

Turkey and Cranberry Treats, via Dogtipper.comTurkey & Cranberry Treats

1 cup whole cranberries
1 cup cooked, boned turkey
3-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup water or broth as needed

Note: If you’re cooking your turkey as you make the treats, you can substitute 1/4 cup of the pan drippings + 1/4 cup of water for the oil and broth.

1. First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease two cookie sheets.
2. Next, mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a blender or food processor, add the turkey and egg (and some of the water or broth as needed). When the turkey is the consistency of baby food, add the cranberries and continue to mix until it looks like a smoothie.
3. Pour this mixture into the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients and stir to create a thick dough. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough. This is a heavy dough so you’ll need to put a little muscle in it!
4. Use cookie cutters to cut the treats.
5. Put the treats on the cookie sheets and pop them in the oven for 25 minutes. Let them cool completely before serving them to your dogs or before refrigerating.

Sweet potato chews, via blog.raiseagreendog.comSweet Potato Chews

1 sweet potato

1. Wash and peel a sweet potato
2. Cut down the middle lengthwise.
3. Cut long lengthwise slices about 1/3 to 1/4 of an inch wide and place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet (use a stainless steel sheet for healthier cooking).
4. Put in the oven at 250 degrees for about 3 hours. This leaves them kind of chewy, but you could also bake them a little longer (about 20-30 minutes) to get them crunchy. Keep them refrigerated for up to three weeks. You can freeze them for up to 4 months.

Pumpkin Dog Treats

1/2 c. canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
4 tbsp molasses
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Blend all of the wet ingredients (pumpkin, molasses, vegetable oil, water) together.
3. Add the dry ingredients (wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon) and stir until a soft dough forms.
4. Grab the dough by teaspoonfuls and roll it into balls with your hands (hint: wet hands work best). Drop the balls onto a cookie sheet/pizza pan and flatten them with a fork.
5. Bake until hard (approximately 25 min.). If you want them a bit crispier, you can just turn off your oven and let them cool in there overnight.

Apple pie treats  via Dogtipper.comApple Pie Dog Treats

6 large flour tortillas
2 cups natural, unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon molasses (optional)
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon butter

NOTE: If you’ll be adding molasses to the applesauce, mix the two together and stir until blended.

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Lay out the tortilla then spread on 2-3 tablespoons (depending on the size of the tortilla) of applesauce. Try not to get too much applesauce near the edges of the tortilla.
3. Roll the tortilla like a jellyroll then put the tortilla, seam down, on a baking sheet.
4. When you’ve filled and rolled all the tortillas, pop the baking sheets in the oven for 20 minutes.
5. After 20 minutes, pull the baking sheets from the oven and flip the rolls; they should be lightly browned on the bottom. Apply butter to the top side of each tortilla. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.
6. Return the rolls to the oven for about five minutes.
7. Remove from oven and allow the rolls to cool then slice them into bite-sized pieces.

From all of us at DogWatch, a very happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Photo credits (top to bottom):

Featured Image: “Zoey on Thanksgiving” by Sarah_Ackerman via Flickr. Image is cropped.
Tony Alter via Flickr

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