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Because Thanksgiving is a time to share love, laughter, memories, and a whole lotta food with friends and family, you’ll probably want to give in to your furry friend’s adorable begging face and slip him a bite under the table (but don’t do it).
Instead, we’ve gathered some of our favorite Thanksgiving treats formulated especially for dogs.
Leftover Turkey Meatballs
Use up that leftover turkey in a way your dog will love!
Homemade Turkey Meatballs for Dogs
Yield 24 pieces
Serve these hearty little meatballs to your dog as a special treat. You can also add to a meal; just cut back on the kibble a little to adjust for added calories. These meatballs last for about five days in the fridge or freeze beautifully.
- 1 lb of leftover turkey, with bones and skin removed
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp plain low-fat yogurt
- 1 cup mixed veggies (we used carrot, peas, and green beans)
- ¼ cup fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 400º
Pop leftover turkey into the bowl of your food processor and pulse a couple time to break up the meat.
Add the rolled oats and pulse until well-combined and no large pieces appear.
Add the egg and yogurt and pulse until the mixture just starts holding together.
Transfer mixture to a large bowl.
Add your veggies and parsley and mix with your hands until incorporated.
Roll into 1” balls and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes or until just becoming golden around the edges.
Too much sodium isn't good for your dog. Removing the turkey skin helps remove the salt and seasonings from baking.
Courses Meal Mix-in
It wouldn’t be an American holiday meal without the classic green bean casserole. Green beans are a healthy no fat treat that dogs love to eat. Sprinkle on top of a meal, or as a low calorie anytime snack.
Dehydrated Vegetable Dog Treats
Yield 5 trays
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 1/2 pound green beans
- 2 red bell peppers
- Oven or dehydrator. We used the Nesco Snackmaster Pro Dehydrator.
- Stockpot for blanching
- Ice for an ice-bath
- Cookie sheet and towels or paper towels to dry after blanching
- Optional: mandoline for slicing
Fill a stockpot about three-quarters full of water and set to boil. If the water boils before you're done prepping, just turn it down to medium-low until you need it. It will perk back up quickly.
Rinse all your veggies well.
Snap or snip the ends off your green beans and set aside.
Peel sweet potatoes and slice into 1/4" pieces, rounds, or strips. If you have a mandoline, this step goes quickly.
Put green beans and sweet potatoes in boiling water to blanch for 4 minutes.
Add ice and cold water to a large bowl to drain blanched veggies when they're ready.
Prep sweet bell peppers by removing seeds and white pith. Slice into 1/4" strips.
Remove beans and potatoes when done by dipping a long-handled strainer into the boiling water, draining a second, then pouring veggies into ice-bath.
When all veggies are removed from boiling water, add the bell pepper strips and blanch for 1 minute, then add to ice bath.
When all veggies are cooled, proceed to the drying stage.
On a large cookie sheet or sheet pan, place a clean dry tea towel or two layers of paper towel.
Place cooled veggies onto the dry towel, adding another towel on top and another layer of veggies on top of that until are the veggies are nestled in. Pat or squeeze gently.
Layer dried veggies onto dehydrator trays, taking care to make sure nothing is touching.
Dehydrate between 110-140 degrees for at least 8 hours.
If you want your sweet potatoes chewier, you can pull them out and continue drying your other veggies to the crisp stage.
When fully dehydrated, allow veggies to cool to room temperature, then pack loosely in an airtight container or bag.
- For crisper veggies, keep in the dehydrator longer.
- You can use your oven instead of a dehydrator, set to lowest possible setting and start checking dryness at 4 hours and every 30 minutes or so thereafter.
- Veggies dried crisp will last longer than veggies dried to the chewy state.
- Chewy veggies should be eaten in the next couple days or kept in the fridge ideally.
- Crispy dried veggies should last 2 weeks in an airtight container.
- Check out these drying tips from the National Center for Home Preservation for the optimum longevity of your dried goodies.
Courses Healthy Snacks
Hearty Sweet Potato Casserole for Dogs
Use ingredients you have on hand for Holiday cooking to make something special—and healthy for your dog. This sweet potato and kidney been puree is the perfect meal topper, kong stuffing, or frozen treat base for the Holidays.
Holiday Sweet Potato Casserole for Dogs
Yield 4 cups
This nutritious recipe makes a delicious doggy meal mixer, stuffing for a holiday KONG toy, or freezes into cubes for a tasty treat-sicle anytime. Sweet potato is full of Vitamin A (beta-carotene), Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6, and is a healthy source of dietary fiber and beta-carotene. Carrots and apples are healthy dog treats on their own and add a natural sweetness to this recipe.
Beans are a great source of protein for dogs and people alike, as well as B vitamins, fiber, iron, folate, potassium, magnesium, and phytonutrients.
- ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 2 large carrots
- 1 apple
- 1 can low-sodium drained and rinsed kidney beans (or prepared from dry to avoid excess sodium)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- OPTIONAL: 1 tsp turmeric & ½ tsp ginger
Preheat oven to 350º
Spread coconut flakes on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake until toasty brown, about 5-10 minutes.
Wash, peel, and roughly chop the sweet potatoes, carrot, and apple.
Steam the veggies until soft and then let cool enough to handle.
Rinse kidney beans for 2 minutes and drain to remove as much sodium as possible. (Prepared dried beans are a healthier alternative.)
Place the beans and veggies into a food processor and pulse to combine.
Drizzle in the coconut oil and add the spices and pulse until combined.
Plate up your casserole in a pretty serving dish, and sprinkle with toasted coconut to garnish.
Courses Meal mixer, Kong Stuffing
This adorable treat includes healthy pumpkin, a dog-friendly crust, and plain yogurt for protein. Bonus: So easy, a puppy can make them! See the video for evidence.
You May Also Like: The Master Pie Recipe for Dogs That Anyone Can Make
Pumpkin Pie For Dogs
Yield 24 Mini Pies
- Oat flour (pulse rolled oats in a food processor to a floury consistency)
- Unsweetened applesauce
- Unsweetened pureed pumpkin
- OPTIONAL: Low-fat plain yogurt for topping
Preheat oven to 350º
For the topping:
You can thicken the yogurt by placing it in a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth or a large coffee filter,
Set the strainer over a bowl to catch the whey.
For the crust:
In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour and applesauce until a nice dough ball forms.
Divide the dough into 24 equal sized pieces
Place a ball in each well of a mini muffin tin and press to flatten.
Bake the crust for 8 min or until just starting to color
Let cool before removing from pan.
For the filling:
Peel and mash the banana in a large bowl.
Add the pumpkin puree and stir to combine.
Divide the filling among the pie crusts and top with yogurt.
Courses Special Occasion
Give this pumpkin pie dog biscuit recipe a try. If you’re feeling really festive, use a Thanksgiving-themed cookie cutter to get into the holiday spirit.
Pumpkin helps with dog digestion and is a well-regarded cure for stomach upsets. You can even get organic pumpkin formulated just for dogs.
Pumpkin Spice Dog Treats
Yield 2 trays
- 1 1/3 cup oat flour
- 1 cup tapioca flour
- 2/3 cup coconut flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- pinch of allspice
- pinch of clove
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 egg
- 1 cup pumpkin
- 2 tsp molasses
- fun jack o' lantern cookie cutter (optional)
Preheat oven to 350º and move oven racks to the middle so you can use two cookie sheets at once.
Combine dry ingredients in the bowl of food processor and pulse lightly to combine.
Add wet ingredients, and pulse intermittently until the dough comes together.
Turn dough out onto a floured board, adding additional oat flour until dough is no longer sticky.
Cut dough into whatever shapes you fancy, placing onto parchment-lined cookie sheets.
Bake for 30 minutes, then turn off the oven but leave the cookies inside to cool for extra crunch.
Courses Fall Favorites
These tempting little bite-size treats are tasty enough you might just eat one yourself!
Apple Pie Bites for Dogs
Yield 48 cookies
If you prefer your sweets on the less-sweet side, you might just fall in love with this recipe too! Maybe with a touch of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for the humans.
You can replace the flour in this recipe with two cups of any flour you like. Oat flour is always a nice gluten-free option, and on hand since you can blitz rolled oats in your food processor to create the flour in just seconds.
- 2 apples, cored and diced or grated
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp Honey (optional but tasty)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 Egg
- Optional: 1/4 cup grated parmesan or cheddar
Preheat oven to 350º
Set your oven racks to a central position with room to use multiple trays if you like.
Wash, core, and dice or grate the apples.
To your diced apple, add the cinnamon, vanilla, honey, and coconut oil and stir thoroughly.
Add the flours and baking powder next, stirring to combine. This will resemble a crumble more than a cookie dough, don't be alarmed!
Add the milk and egg, and give it a final stir.
Drop small spoonfuls of cookie dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet.
You can either leave the dough in spherical form or press down lightly with a fork to create a flatter, crunchier cookie.
Bake 20 minutes, or until the tops attain some golden color and there are some crunchy bits on the edges, but the bottom isn't too browned.
Courses Fall Favorite
Throw together these no bake pumpkin balls to have on hand for all your canine guests.
No Bake Coco-Nutter Pumpkin Balls
Yield 32 cookies
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (sweet potato works too)
- ½ cup unsweetened peanut butter (no xylitol!)
- 2 ½ cups rolled oats
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- Food Processor
- Scale (optional)
Melt the coconut oil in microwave or stovetop. (We used a liquid coconut oil, found in the baking aisle of the grocery store.)
Line a cookie sheet or large plate with parchment paper.
Place all ingredients (except shredded coconut) into the food processor bowl and pulse to combine, pushing down the sides as necessary, until the dough starts to hold together
Move dough to a plate or mixing bowl. With lightly oiled hands, divide the dough roughly into quarters. each quarter should yield about 8 cookies, for a total of 32 cookies, or you can make smaller cookies for smaller dogs.
Roll each ball to a smooth and uniform shape, then place on parchment.
Place shredded coconut into a clean bowl. Roll each ball in a handful of coconut shreds until evenly coated. Place cookies into a parchment lined Tupperware container, layering with more parchment as necessary.
Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.
Makes 32 balls
Courses Anytime Treat
Jazz up mealtime with a big splash of this hearty and healthy bone broth. You can make this recipe adding your turkey carcass and veggie ends (no onions or garlic please!) for a free and seasonal flavor boost.
InstantPot or Slow Cooker Beef and Pork Bone Broth for Dogs
Yield 2-2.5 Quarts
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 pounds beef marrow bones
- 4 raw pig's feet (not smoked)
- 8 celery stalks
- 4 carrots or 2 Cups baby carrots
- 1 Cup roughly chopped parsley
- 1/4 Cup raw apple cider vinegar (some recipes suggest lemon juice but we do not recommend giving citrus to dogs)
- large roasting pan
- Instant pot, crock pot, or stock pot
Place a rack in the middle of your oven.
Preheat oven to a hot-n-spicy 450º.
Grease a large roasting pan with the olive oil and place your bone in the center, pig's feet around the edges, and fill with the celery and carrots in the empty spaces.
Bake the bones for an hour, flipping the bones and feet halfway through. If things are getting too brown too fast, turn down the oven or just skip straight to loading the Instant Pot.
Put the roughly chopped parsley in the bottom of the Instant Pot or Crock Pot. Add the bones next, placing the marrow bones in the center and pushing the pig's feet around. Top off with as much of the veggies as will fit, filling in some of the cracks. Add the apple cider vinegar, then add cold water, leaving an inch of space under the max fill line.
Close and seal, cooking in manual mode for the max time of 240 minutes (4 hours). If your pressure cooker only goes to 120, just run it twice.
If you're using a slow cooker, set it on low for 24-48 hours to get the maximum benefits of the recipe.
If you're using a stock pot on the stove, get the broth up to a simmer, stirring occasionally, then cover and simmer on low 24-48 hours, checking the pot regularly to make sure the temperature is maintained and nothing is burning or sticking.
Use a natural release, then turn off the heat. When the pot is cool enough to touch, you can use a small strainer to remove the larger piece from the broth. Then strain the broth through a fine mesh colander to catch any loose bone bits.
Chill the broth in the fridge for a few hours or overnight until it (hopefully) sets into a gel.
Scrape the fat off the top of the gelatinized broth, pausing to appreciate how wiggly and jiggly it is.
Serve it up! You can freeze the broth, heat it up a little and pour 1/4-1/2 cup over your dog's kibble at mealtimes, or serve alone as a nutritious snack.
Courses Meal Mix-in
Holiday foods to avoid for dogs
Because safety always comes first, be sure to check out this list of foods to avoid to ensure safe and healthy snacking. Many of our holiday favorites are more likely to cause simple digestive upset for dogs, but a few foods are downright dangerous. These include:
So be sure to read up before slipping your dogs any scraps from the feast.
Do you have a go-to Thanksgiving treat recipe for your dogs? We’d love to hear about it.