A Homemade Thanksgiving Feast that You and Your Dog Will Love!
Thanksgiving is the time of year we celebrate the famous harvest feast that the English colonists shared with the Wampanoag people in 1621. While this feast originated as a day of peace and a celebration of the colonist first successful harvest in the New World, it’s become a day to show thanks for our lives. Here at Animal Behavior College, we like to celebrate the lives of our pets as well.
The role of animals has changed dramatically since that first historic event. In the 1600s, animals were used to work the fields, serve as hunting partners and occasionally as food. But these days, animals are family members and friends – which is why they deserve to be included in our Thanksgiving celebrations.
Of course, their needs are much different than our own. While we enjoy rich gravies and fruit salads, these things can make our pets very ill. Onions, grapes, most nuts, and salty foods are a no-no. Some fruits and vegetables can make our pets very ill and even result in their death. So, what can we share with our pets?
We created an entire dinner of pet-friendly recipes you can share with your dog on Thanksgiving Day! Here are our suggestions for a pet-friendly Thanksgiving feast that you and your pets can enjoy together.
Pet-Friendly Appetizer: Dehydrated Fruits and Vegetables
These delicious treats can be eaten throughout the day as a quick energy-laden snack. These are not only delicious, but nutritious as well. Best of all, they store well – making them a great low-calorie treat throughout the holidays.
- 1 pound green beans
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
- 2 fresh apples, peeled, deseeded and sliced
- 1 banana, sliced and peeled
- 1 cup blueberries, washed
Place fresh green beans and sliced sweet potatoes into a stock pot of boiling water for about four minutes. Remove from boiling water and place into ice water to blanche.
Core, peel and slice apples. Make sure the seeds have been removed.
Place blanched vegetables and fresh fruit into the dehydrator the night before Thanksgiving. You will need to dehydrate between 110-140 degrees for about eight hours. Share a few with your best friend the next morning while you’re prepping the turkey for cooking!
Gluten-Free, Dog-Friendly Holiday Stuffing
Stuffing the traditional way means lots of salt and onions, but both are bad for dogs. This delicious dog-friendly recipe is much healthier for pets and people, and we know it will make you and your dog’s mouth water! Best of all, its safe (in moderation) for your pets.
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 5-7 hours
- 4 cups gluten-free bread, crumbled into 1-inch cubes
- 3 cups gluten-free cornbread, crumbled into 1-inch cubes
- ¼ lb ground turkey
- ¼ lb pork sausage
- 1 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 cups celery, diced
- ¼ cup parsley sprigs, finely chopped
- 1 medium Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
- ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon dried sage
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried marjoram
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Pour breadcrumbs into a very large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Brown sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through. Drain off any fat. Set sausage aside.
- Melt butter in sausage pan over medium heat. Add celery and parsley and sauté for several minutes.
- Add Granny Smith apples. Sauté for another minute. Pour over bread cubes.
- Add poultry seasoning, salt, sage, thyme, marjoram, and pepper to the stuffing mix. Toss lightly to combine. Pour in chicken broth to moisten. Gently combine ingredients. For a softer texture, add more broth. Taste the seasonings. Add more salt and herbs if needed.
- Add sausage and beaten eggs. Mix together well.
- Grease a large Crock-Pot with butter or nonstick spray. Pack stuffing into the Crock-Pot and cook on high for 45 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook for another 4-6 hours longer.
Holiday Sweet Potato Casserole for Dogs
This delicious side dish will have your dog begging for more! But remember, while these are healthy recipes, it’s important to keep the serving size in check. This nutritious recipe is filled with sweet potato, which is rich in beta-carotene, vitamins and fiber. Carrots and apples add a natural sweetness.
Author: Kiki Kane
- 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, carrots, 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.
This delicious dessert uses pumpkin puree’ and raw honey for sweetness.
Loews Hotels: Pet Friendly Pumpkin Pie
Author: Loews Hotels Executive Chef Mark Ehrler
- 1 medium sugar pumpkin
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 9- inch single crust pastry shell
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 eggs lightly beaten
- 1 cup honey warmed slightly
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Cut pumpkins in half, and remove seeds. Lightly oil the cut surface. Place cut side down on a jelly roll pan lined with foil and lightly oiled. Baked at 325 degrees F until the flesh is tender when poked with a fork. Cool until just warm. Scrape the pumpkin flesh from the peel. Either mash, or puree in small batches in a blender.
In large bowl, blend together 2 cups pumpkin puree, spices. Beat in eggs, honey, milk, and cream. Pour filling into pie shell.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a knife inserted 1 inch from edge of pie comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Post-Dinner Dog Latte:
This barista style coconut pumpkin spice latte, courtesy of The Honest Kitchen is designed especially for pets, but with a little extra spice, you can pump up the volume for yourself. Enjoy this after-dinner drink with your dogs as you wind down the holiday.
Author: Amy Tokic
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons instant pumpkin spice latte mix from The Honest Kitchen
- ½ teaspoon raw honey
- 1 cinnamon stick
Directions: In a small bowl, whip egg and honey together, then add the instant pumpkin spice latte powder. Slowly pour heated coconut milk over the mixture and stir with cinnamon stick. Remove cinnamon stick, cool drink down to lukewarm, and serve to your dog. Make sure the mixture has cooled before serving!
This year, share your feast with your pets and make it a great day for everyone. But remember to exercise caution. Any new food may cause some stomach upset and if your dog is on a special diet, you should avoid sharing any new treats or food with them.