What Holiday Foods Are Safe for Dogs to Eat?

What holiday foods are safe for dogs to eat? You may be surprised to find out there are many holidays foods that can be a nutritious treat for your dog!

The holiday season can be an exciting time for you and your dog. You both get to enjoy the family you haven’t seen in a while, get awesome gifts, and of course… chow down on the food! While you prepare that holiday dinner, you may feel a bit guilty your dog can’t enjoy all the festivities. If you get to eat this well during the holiday season, why shouldn’t your dog? After all, they are a special part of the family. But, what holiday foods are safe for dogs to eat? You may be surprised to find out there are many holidays foods you enjoy annually that can serve as a nutritious treat for your dog this holiday!

First, here is what to avoid

Before we dive into what foods are safe for your dog to eat during the holidays, let’s chat about what you should avoid. While you may appreciate the extra flavor that seasoning and spices add to your holiday dish, they can potentially put your dog at risk. The plainer a dish is, the safer it is for your dog to enjoy. Be sure to steer clear of anything with alliums, including garlic and onion. Also, dairy, like butter and sour cream, and anything with excess amounts of sugar should not be given to your pet. Your dog may have trouble digesting any dish including these those ingredients. Pet owners should consult a veterinarian before adding new foods to your pet’s diet.

Now that you know what additives to avoid let’s check out these seven holiday foods that are safe for dogs to eat!


1) Turkey

A dish the whole family, especially dogs, get the most excited during the holiday season is the holiday turkey or ham. That holiday turkey often fills the entire house with an irresistible smell that keeps even the antsiest of dogs at attention. Main course poultry like chicken and turkey are safe to feed your dog during the holiday season, as long as you keep in mind a few tips.

Avoid giving your dog the skin, as it can be too fatty. It is also important to remove the meat from the bone because home-cooked bones tend to break and splinter, which can cause internal damage.  

2) Green Beans

Plain green beans are another safe food dogs can enjoy during the holiday season. Also, green beans have a variety of health benefits that make it a great treat year round! Green beans are an excellent source of plant fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, and manganese. Your dog can enjoy green beans this holiday season in many different forms including chopped, steamed, raw, or canned. Just make sure they are plain green beans without added salt, garlic, onions, oils, or spices. It is also important to note whole green beans that are too large can pose as choking hazards to your dog. Like with anything you give your pet, be sure to monitor them when giving them larger green beans.

3) Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes, even yams, can be a fun chewy treat for your dog during the holiday season. Sweet potatoes are a source of dietary fiber and contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, beta-carotene (a source of vitamin A), and manganese. This means plain sweet potatoes for dogs promote healthy skin, coat, eyes, nerves, and muscles in dogs. How can your dog enjoy sweet potatoes this holiday season? Easy! Give your dog sliced, dehydrated, or mashed sweet potatoes in small amounts. Just be sure they are plain sweet potatoes without sugar, marshmallows, or any other additives. Sorry, little four-legged friend, no candied yams for you.


4) Pumpkin

Pumpkin is very popular during the holiday season, but did you know pumpkin is also safe for your dog to eat? Like sweet potatoes, pumpkin is full of beta-carotene and fiber, which aids digestion. When giving your dog pumpkin, cooked or raw, make sure to avoid sugar and other spices that can be harmful to your dog. What makes pumpkin an even cooler holiday treat? Pumpkin is a great seasonal do-it-yourself (DIY) dog treats.


5) Apples

Apples may not necessarily be a “holiday food,” but some people use apples for their holiday desserts! While you are cutting up apples for that apple pie, keep in mind apples can be a nice little treat for your four-legged friend. From Honeycrisp to Granny Smith, apples are a safe holiday food that naturally cleans your dog’s teeth, is low fat, and a unique antioxidant.

Be mindful of large amounts of apple seeds and stems in fresh apples, as they contain cyanogenic glycosides which can cause an upset stomach, and more serious problems if consumed in large quantities.

6) Carrots

Many holiday dishes have carrots in them. While some of those dishes aren’t safe for dogs to eat, carrots alone are safe for your dog to eat during the holidays! Carrots are low calorie and low-fat treat packed with beta-carotene, vitamins, and fiber. Giving your dogs carrots raw can keep them entertained, while cooked (unseasoned) carrots can satisfy their taste buds!     

7) Redbarn Foods, Bones & Bullies!

Whether you are looking to occupy your dog, or want to feed them a special holiday treat, Redbarn may have what you are looking for. Redbarn has a full assortment of products to help your dog feel included this holiday season!

Wanta special holiday meal to feed your dog? Enjoy our Duck & Turkey Pate with Peas & Carrots, or our Turkey Stew with Cranberry & Sweet Potato. All Redbarn canned and rolled dog food feature functional ingredients that support your dog’s health!

Redbarn carries a variety of bully sticks, bones, and other dog chews to keep your dog busy while you and your family prepare that holiday feast. We also carry a special holiday line that makes a great gift for your favorite four-legged friends including our Redbarn Fetchers Candy Cane and holiday Filled Bones

Happy Holidays!

There are 501 comments

    1. Roseanne Coggan

      My dogs love to eat everything on the list in moderation no skin no bones no onions or garlic.They love Redbarns filled bones to chew on.

  1. Glenis

    I stick with turkey and sweet pototoes as a topper to their kibble. My girls love it and it’s not harmful. Of course, there day ended with an awesome braided bully which they love even more than the turkey!

  2. allison hoffman

    My dog loves all the holiday foods. we make him his own dinner of leftovers that he can eat: turkey, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, green beans

  3. Pups Haven

    Good Stuff, its hard for pet parents to keep up with the ever changing lists of foods & things good for dogs and bad for dogs. Especially for all the soon to be new pet parents this coming Holiday Season. So its awesome yhat you have a clear list assessable to them.
    I make my dogs food 89% of the time from scratch. And always 100% of the time with vitamins, herbs, and love added everyday no matter what they are eating. #SpoiledPets #PupsHaven

  4. Sherri chastain

    Oh thank you my dogs love turkey but I didn’t know about the skin, I know they would love to eat some Natural Grain-Free Duck & Turkey from redbarn

  5. Beth Paulsen

    I knew apples, turkey sans skin & sweet potatoes! And of course Red Barn❤️ products! I’m very careful about what I give them!

  6. Rachel Collins

    Pumpkin and sweet potatoes are safe for dogs during the Holidays. My Husky Jaxx, loves pumpkins and sweet potatoes! He gets all excited and starts barking and spinning when he sees and smells them, because he knows he’s getting some. It’s best to use fresh fruits and vegetables, when giving them to a dog.

  7. Jennifer Hedden

    I didn’t know dogs could eat pumpkin and green beans. My dog loves turkey! I will have to try and feed Sam these different foods and see if he likes them. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Denise Hall

    We give ALL 5 of our furbabies green beans, sweet potatoes, plain canned pumpkin, sliced white meat turkey, and apples. They LOVE it!!!!

  9. Sandy Klocinski

    I love sharing small amounts of whatever meat I am having with my dog. He loves chicken and turkey. I mix it with his dog food and he picks the “people meat” out first every time and then eats his dog food.

  10. Erin C

    My dog eats very small amounts of most of these foods on a regular basis! With the exception of Red Barn filled treats – he loves them, but I save them for special occasions.

  11. Angela Mason

    Dean loves the Holidays, pumpkin pie and especially that big ham bone! I have a garden and he loves eating healthy with me. Thank you for the opportunity and happy Holidays to all!!

  12. Russell Moore

    My 3 have always liked carrots and sweet potatoes, but I hadn’t thought of sharing apples with them. Will try this soon. Thanks.

  13. Melanie D

    We always give our pups some turkey with their canned food around Thanksgiving.. They love it. My one dog has allergies so he can’t have many foods. Turkey is one of the few that he can have. They both love sweet potatoes and I make homemade treats for them with that.

  14. Kim Niland

    Our pup goes crazy over turkey. We can’t say the word turkey because he gets too excited when he hears it. We started spelling it, but now he knows what that means too. Now we just call turkey “the bird” (until he figures that out too)

  15. HTaylor

    Good information. I am very aware and careful what I feed my pets and this article is a good reminder of the good stuff I can feed them in it’s plain form before adding or mixing in my prepared dishes. I just wish my grandmother would read and heed. My grandmother wants to feed her pup whatever she is eating all the time and boy, if you tell her anything different, you get scolded!

  16. Claire Moscoso

    They get a little mashed potatoes and they love green beans so they get those – plain, no fancy trimmings 🙂 They do get a special treat while the two-legged folks are eating-a RedBarn Peanut Butter and Jelly bone!! They love it! Since there are five of them, there is a lot of happy chewing going on!!

    1. Darion Barlow

      Hi Jennifer,

      Thanks for sharing! We completely understand why some pet parents may not feel comfortable feeding their pet “table food.” However, many of these foods mentioned in this article are not only safe but nutritious as well! You may even find many of these foods listed in your dog’s food. Just be sure to steer clear of anything with alliums, including garlic and onion. Also, dairy, like butter and sour cream, and anything with excess amounts of sugar should not be given to your pet. Happy holidays!

  17. Tiffany Kinard

    We love giving our dogs just plain sweet potatoes or mashed with a little banana. They also love apples and they get special treats of baked chicken,but there’s no seasoning on it.

  18. Cathy Truman

    Our boy Bailey loves carrots he has some every night in a toy where he has to work to get them out. He also will eat green beans and turkey they are all safe to eat.

  19. Pat Schwab

    My dog likes some bites of carrots when I am eating them and apple slices. Thanks for the note about the skin on turkey, I didn’t know that was harmful.

  20. Don Perkins

    My dog surprised me by liking various fruits and veggies. The biggest surprise was how much she loves tomatoes, sliced of course…lol

  21. Heather

    Good info! Better safe than sorry with our pups. My dog eats raw and he gets his own turkey for the holidays – raw turkey necks!

  22. LaurieO

    Thanks for the info. Our dog gets safe treats like a bit of skinless turkey. He really loves his own doggy treats too, like the small barbell bully sticks.

  23. Stevens Susan

    Hello Redbarn Fans! This is a list I printed out and put it on my fridge! Thank you folks and good luck to those who enter! Have a wonderful holiday season.

    1. Darion Barlow

      Hi Christain,

      Thanks for commenting! You’re correct, you should not give your dog candied yams.However, plain yams without the sugary “candied” ingredients should be safe for your dog to eat!

  24. Yvonne

    My dog pretty much loves anything that’s safe for her to eat. But she really likes those baby carrots. When she get an upset stomach I mix some canned 100% pumpkin in with her food. That always helps her.

  25. Brigitte Walsh

    Yoshi loves carrots and green beans, and he can have a tiny amount of turkey, and of course, bullies (sized for small dogs). Bullies really keep him occupied & happy!

  26. Toby I.

    Our dogs get to have their own feast complete with turkey (white meat only), unseasoned green beans, unseasoned sweet potatoes, unseasoned carrots, then plain pumpkin for dessert.

  27. Tamara M Tanner

    My puppies love green beans and carrots and turkey and sweetpotatoes…so I make them a special casserole with just those foods…they get so excited and happy!!! makes me happy…

  28. Linda Szymoniak

    I’ve been careful about human food I let my dogs have for years. It was always a problem when my husband’s grandmother came over for dinner. She insisted on feeding the dogs, despite my telling her what they could and couldn’t have. Of course, back then I wasn’t even aware that so many of the foods we serve at home are not good for the dogs. I always used common sense and now I have facts. Luckily, my dogs never got sick with the grandmother around, but it really infuriated me that she wouldn’t follow our rules for OUR dogs.

  29. Amanda Eagan

    We have pugs so they like everything on the list! They can’t chew green beans very well but will try. We have been giving everything safely…plus they don’t get many table foods anyway.

  30. Kimberly

    There is no such thing as “people food” and ” dog food.” As long as you avoid foods that are known to cause issues for dogs, such as onions, chocolate, grapes, greasy, cooked meats, etc…. almost any holiday food can be shared with dogs! Happy Holidays!

  31. B.A. Lee

    Awesome list, and definitely good to know.
    Loki loves carrots, turkey, and just about everything on the list.
    I’m definitely interested (and hopefully Loki will be as well) with trying out Red Barn items.
    Happy Holidays to all!

  32. Stephanie hanson

    My dog enjoys special holiday treats I make for her – full of granola, coconut flour, blueberries, chia seeds and honey.

  33. Lynn R

    My two babies don’t like raw fruits and veggies, only cooked ones. And I’ve never given them any raw meat before, although they did catch and eat a rabbit in the backyard once.

  34. AngelaS

    Our pup gets no treats, poor thing. This is thanks to her super sensitive gut, so sensitive we pay a small fortune for a prescription dog food. The only thing we have found that she can eat. Upset tummies are bad news.

  35. sherry leonard

    I was surprised to know about apples. knew about some of the other foods being both bad and good pumpkins being a good one and good for the dog stomach one of my dogs fave and deep done i know he is secretly cussing at me when i have pumpkin pie and whip cream none for him just pumpkin lol ok just a dab for him

  36. Eva D

    really great information. I am picky as to what I feed my dogs especially when it comes to people food. I will be careful not to have certain plants in y house with the dogs

  37. LisaColes

    My dogs love both apples and pumpkin. I’ve also heard that green beans are good but for some reason mine won’t touch them. Good to know… thanks for the list!

  38. Joy Casas

    I like what you are saying about the fat and the bones on the turkey. Long ago I made the mistake of feeding my dog a lot of the drippings. Oops.

  39. angela meek

    My dogs try to eat anything and everything. I have to be vigilant at all times and not leave anything out. My grandpa said to never give dogs or cats onions or garlic because they were poisonous. Guess he knew what he was talking about even way back then.

  40. Melissa McCarter

    My pups love dried cranberries that we use in stuffing. Oceanspray makes fresh version that’s a great snack. My girls like a mix of blueberries and cranberries.

  41. NancyB from Many LA

    While I already knew the Christmas?Thanksgiving foods that were safe to eat, I never had heard of your company before this, so I will be on the lookout for the Redbarn Foods, Bones & Bullies and buy them for my 5 dogs!

  42. Brina

    My puppy Mila loves holiday food! Especially turkey, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie. I try to slip in some green beans, carrots, and apples. Of course we can both agree Redbarn Foods are a safe holiday doggie treat!

  43. Brenda Marquis

    Cooked turkey with no bones or skin is a great, safe treat for your pet. As for the apple debate, pieces of the apple are fine but the middle part has seeds that can be toxic.

  44. Robyn Dones

    I know you can give your dog turkey, but I read somewhere it can only be the white meat. My dog is such a picky eater, I would love to give him raw vegs and fruit, but he won’t eat most. He does like a spoon or two of canned pumpkin. Thank you for the chance to win this giveaway.

  45. Dale Fish

    The drop down box(contents) above starts by saying ” First, here is what to avoid”. #7 is Redbarn’s products. Thought you might want to know. Good info though!

  46. Shani

    I always knew about pumpkin and turkey, however, I never knew green beans were good to give to your pup! We have given our pup plain turkey, no seasoning before and unfortunately found out the hard way she was allergic! Watch carefully as to what you feed your dogs!

  47. Lisa V

    No rawhide chews, those are the worst thing for dogs. My dogs will get some turkey and green beans along with their canned pumpkin.

  48. Jackie

    My three geriatric rescue babies love green beans and canned pumpkin. They love Redbarn bones – we call them pacifiers – pacies.

  49. Emily

    This is a great list, I didn’t know about green beans, though mine are usually covered in cream of mushroom soup, so probably a no go 🙁

  50. Sandy Weinstein

    i give my dogs turkey, but i cook it plain, i give them sweet potatoes, steamed carrots cut up, sweet peas, apples without the seeds and pumpkin, plain, when they have an upset tummy. they also get kefir goat’s milk. i never put seasoning, salt, etc. on my food that i am going to share with my dogs. they get soft treats, no raw bones, no rawhide.

  51. Anne Johnson

    I love feeding my dogs raw bones. They love pork necks. I just give them to them whole and it keeps them busy in the back yard for a good hour or more. the bones just crunch and they love them!

  52. Justine

    My dog loves sweet potatoes and pumpkin, as a safe treat for Thanksgiving. Although, she would love some bones from the turkey, I make sure she never is fed them.

  53. Joy Marish

    Cooked sweet potatoes (minus any additional ingredients), baked potatoes, pumpkin purée, cucumbers, carrots (steamed or raw), steamed green beans or greens,apples , unsweetened cranberries, bananas, and apples , Turkey .Redbarn Foods, Bones & Bullies!are all good choices

  54. Susan Bilger

    I have been reading about the benefits of pumpkin seeds and a raw meat diet for my dogs. Unfornarually, with 4 dogs putting them on a raw meat diet would be very costly. I have considered adding some of these foods as an addition to their current diets

  55. Lauren Sloan

    Only food I give my dogs are there dog food. Maybe add broth as a treat but other nothing our food isn’t really good for them. Might give them an egg

  56. Jeane Campbell

    Makes sense about not adding any spices. Knew about pumpkin but hadn’t thought about apples. Thanks for the information

  57. Heather Shaw

    We don’t usually give our dog human food because we’re always worried about it upsetting his stomach, but this is a great list and we might try giving him some green beans or apples this holiday season!

  58. Shelly Meadows

    My dog is a meat lover but not a veggie lover. I give him some turkey and I put a little bit of gravy (which is the best part)!

  59. Paula S.

    This is great information! Most of these foods I knew about, but I did not know that apples were safe! It’s always a good idea to get a refresher! Now I know what is safe to be included in my fur babies’ special holiday dinner so that they can be part of the celebration!

  60. Erica WEAVER

    wow great info i never knew all these were good for them i have cats so this would be very helpful one day if i got a dog

  61. Barbsworld3

    I give my dogs bananas from time to time, they love it!
    Other than the occasional banana, I don’t like to feed my dogs people food.

  62. Gina

    My boy is 10 years old on 12/22! And in order to keep him around as long as possible, the vet suggested I start giving him half his serving of dog food and supplement it with vegetables. So i know give him a mixture of peas, carrots, green beans in with his half serving of kibble. He LOVES it.

  63. Jill Jackson

    I need to keep a safe food list on my refrigerator for my husband. I didn’t know until yesterday dogs could not eat walnuts

  64. Cindy Bowling

    I was unaware that you can give your dogs green beans and sweet potatoes. They love turkey so we make them their own so there are no herbs and spices.

  65. Siara H

    I learned more information about the benefit of green beans for dogs. My two dogs love plain green beans and they are the number one diet food for dogs who are overweight! Great info!

  66. Lisa Lee Cook

    We have always given our dogs carrots,sweet potatoes and green beans. Just learned about the pumpkin so they will now be getting some of that too!

  67. Edna Gorby

    Mine get salmon instead of turkey. They get pumpkin daily. Mix a little peppermint oil into coconut oil and drop a blueberry in ice cube tray and fill with mix and freeze. They love it.

  68. Cheri

    My dogs know when Red Barn filled bones are delivered by UPS. They also raid their stockings before Christmas morning for the bones!

  69. Melissa Mazzur

    Thank you! We have a garbage digger here and I love having this list so we know when to take the trash out before bedtime!

  70. Brianna Shepherd

    This past thanksgiving we gave my pup a little of everything listed, but set it aside to be cooked seperately. I boiled her some Green beans and turkey. She ate some cranberries just and few too sugary. It’s was fun including her in thanks giving since she’s part of the family

  71. Lindsey Chavez

    My pups like pumpkin so I’ve been baking them pumpkin and peanut butter (no xylitol of course) cookie treats, which they LOVE!

  72. Regina G.

    Slice sweet taters in1/4 thick strips. Put in over, either on it’s lowest setting, or turned off.

    Once dry, they are good treats.

  73. Nancy Lee Musser

    My fur babies love Turkey, but I will give them chicken and cooked rice, and also hamburger grease drained with rice, even my vet told me hamburger or chicken with cooked rice is good for them when their sick. My babies LOVE ham.

  74. Sara S

    You could definitely feed them any raw turkey before you cook it! Im sure they would love if you ripped them off a a turkey leg XP.

  75. Donna Griffiths

    My Corgis love all the above mentioned foods! They get a small amount of 100% Pumpkin with both meals every day. We share or use as treats beans, sweet potatoes, banana, turkey, and numerous other foods when training and at other times!

  76. Nicole Calkins

    Turkey, Green Beans, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin, Apples, Carrots, and Redbarn Foods, Bones & Bullies are all safe foods for your dog during the holidays!

  77. Bobbie Smith

    My Elle Mae likes sweet potatoes, but I would sure like for her to try the Redbarn’s Steak and Egg Stew Canned Dog Food. I think she would really enjoy that!

  78. Mary

    One of my girls goes nuts for raw carrots so when I am grating carrots, they both love it if I mix them up with a little applesauce, pumpkin or a very small amount of plain yogurt.

  79. Sarah R

    My dogs love any ‘people’ food I’ll give them, but I prefer giving them Redbarn cow hooves and pig ears. They last a lot longer!

  80. Cathy Drum

    My old girls get turkey. I dehydrate sweet potatoes/yams for them and imstead of pumpkin pie, they get a glop of pumpkin puree at dinner Christmas evening.

  81. Fezziktheakita

    Hmm I love getting left over turkey and ham! And the kids love to share their left overs with me despite the hoomans telling them Not to do it 10x!

  82. Kristen H.

    A new thing I learned by reading this blog post is that plain sweet potatoes are safe for dogs to eat. I did not know that before reading the blog post.

  83. Ryan Olivas

    My dog is not a picky type so anything I would give, she will always eat it but of course i’ll choose foods that i think is healthy for her.

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