Thanksgiving is right around the corner! It is a time of family, friends, and giving thanks for the great many blessings in life. Show your dog or cat the ultimate gratitude by giving them a pet friendly Thanksgiving this year. Thanksgiving is more than just a human holiday, so as Dallas and Austin’s most experienced pet sitters, we’ve put together a list of homemade pet treat recipes.

It’s a time when we gather with family and friends to express our gratitude for life’s many blessings. And, for pet lovers, it’s also an incredible opportunity to show our beloved four-legged companions just how much we appreciate them with some homemade pet treat recipes. Type ‘homemade pet treat recipes’ into any search engine and you will be presented with MILLIONS of results. Plus, there are almost as many links for ‘dog or cat treat recipes’ out there as well! So where do you start?


As you prepare the grand Thanksgiving feast for your human family, don’t forget to extend the love to your canine and feline family members. Just like us, our pets can relish some of the holiday’s delectable flavors. Here are some pet-friendly ingredients that your dogs can enjoy.


Man makes homemade pet treat recipes for his cat who watches onTurkey: The star of the Thanksgiving feast, cooked, boneless, and unseasoned turkey is a treat your dog will drool over. It’s packed with protein and a Thanksgiving essential. When sharing this tasty morsel with your dog, ensure it’s free of bones and seasonings to keep it safe for their consumption.

Pumpkin: This orange superfood isn’t just for pies. It’s loaded with fiber and vitamins, making it a healthy addition to your pet’s diet. Pumpkin can help with digestion and is often recommended for pets with tummy troubles. Whether served as a treat or mixed into their regular food, it’s a nutritional boost your pet will appreciate. Just beware that cinnamon and other seasonings in pumpkin dishes may not be safe.  Raw or unseasoned cooked pumpkin is best.

Sweet Potatoes: Rich in fiber and nutrients, mashed sweet potatoes are a delightful side dish that your dog will love. They provide a sweet and tasty addition to their meal, and the fiber in sweet potatoes can aid in digestion. Just remember to serve them plain, without added sugars or seasonings. Okay, maybe ONE marshmallow won’t hurt.

Green Beans: Crispy green beans are a low-calorie, high-fiber treat that’s great for your pup. Whether you’re looking for a crunchy snack or a healthy topper for their meal, green beans are a fantastic choice. They’re a source of vitamins and minerals and can help your dog feel full without excess calories. While green beans can be a staple in homemade pet treat recipes, hold the creamy soups and French fried onions, please.

Gravy: In moderation, plain turkey gravy without any seasonings is a special Thanksgiving delight for your pet. A drizzle of gravy can add a burst of flavor to their meal. However, it’s crucial to keep it plain, free from additives like onions or garlic, which can be harmful to pets. Sodium content is also a concern, as most gravy is loaded with salt. Too much can be harmful to your pet’s kidneys and lead to accidents when they drink more water to flush out the excess.

Cranberry Sauce: A small spoonful of cranberry sauce can add a burst of flavor to your pet’s meal. Cranberries are often used in pet foods, and in moderation, cranberry sauce can be a delightful addition to their Thanksgiving dinner. Ensure the sauce is free from xylitol and other harmful additives.

While sharing these tasty treats with your pets can enhance their holiday experience, it’s equally important to be aware of what not to share. Be sure and avoid the items in the list below, which can be harmful to your pets.


NO Yeast Dough: Yeast can expand in their stomach and lead to gastric upset, causing discomfort and potential health issues.

NO Alcohol, Coffee, and Chocolate: These substances are toxic to pets and should be kept far away from them to ensure their safety.

NO Macadamia Nuts and Nutmeg: Best kept away from pets as they can cause various health issues, including neurological problems.

NO Avocado and Onion: These foods are toxic to both dogs and cats and should never be on their menu to prevent potentially serious health issues.

NO Grapes and Raisins: These fruits can be harmful to pets and should be strictly avoided, as they can lead to kidney problems.

NO Fatty Foods: While a bit of turkey is okay, too much fatty food can lead to pancreatitis in some pets, a condition that can be painful and severe. So, keep the skin off to avoid tummy troubles.

NO Sage: While a common Thanksgiving spice, it can cause stomach upset and even central nervous system depression in pets. So, it’s best to keep it out of their reach and safely stored away from curious paws.

This Thanksgiving, make sure to share the love with your pets while keeping their health and safety in mind. Now, let’s dive into some wonderful homemade pet treat recipes to make their holiday even more special. We spent way too much time scrolling Pinterest to find some of the best homemade pet treat recipes on the internet.

Here are some of our favorite homemade pet treat recipes from around the web:



The texture of “Pumpkin Pooch Pleasers” will be somewhat cake-like and slightly chewy, so don’t be surprised if a human mistakes them for dessert. These bars are designed to have a moist and soft interior, which makes them one of the best homemade pet treat recipes for senior dogs and puppies.


  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (make sure it’s pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 tablespoons carob powder (a dog-safe alternative to chocolate)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and lightly grease an 8×8-inch (20×20 cm) baking pan or use a silicone mold for fun shapes.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the canned pumpkin, unsweetened applesauce, and water. Mix well to create a smooth and creamy pumpkin base.
  3. In a separate microwave-safe bowl, melt the carob powder. You can do this by heating it in the microwave in 10-15 second increments until it becomes smooth. Carob is a dog-friendly alternative to chocolate.
  4. Add the melted carob to the pumpkin mixture and stir until it’s well incorporated. This will give your bars a hint of chocolate flavor.
  5. In another bowl, combine the whole wheat flour and rolled oats to create your dry mixture.
  6. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the pumpkin and carob mixture until it forms a thick, sticky dough.
  7. Press the dough into your greased baking pan or silicone mold. Smooth it out so that it’s evenly distributed.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the bars are firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Allow the bars to cool completely before removing them from the pan or mold.
  10. Once cooled, you can cut them into fun shapes using dog-themed cookie cutters, or simply into small squares.


Turkey and sweet potato meatballs make a tasty homemade pet treat recipes for ThanksgivingLooking for homemade pet treat recipes for your pet that are good everyday of the year? These Turkey and Sweet Potato Delights are filled with lean protein and plenty of fiber.  Try switching out the whole wheat flour for quinoa flakes to increase the amino acids profile and protein content. It’s a great option for dogs who need help with their skin and coats.


  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cooked turkey
  • 1/4 cup mashed cooked sweet potato
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour


1. In a mixing bowl, combine the finely chopped cooked turkey and mashed sweet potato.
2. Add the egg to the mixture and stir until well blended.
3. Gradually incorporate the whole wheat flour into the mixture, forming a dough.
4. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
5. Form the dough into small, bite-sized treats and place them on a baking sheet.
6. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the treats are firm to the touch.
7. Let them cool before serving to your furry friend. Enjoy!


We wouldn’t leave out our feline friends from the Thanksgiving fun!  These sardine and sweet potato homemade cat treats are a perfect recipe to offer as thanks to your kitty.


  • 1/2 can of sardines in water, drained
  • 1/4 cup cooked and mashed sweet potato
  • 1 tablespoon canned pumpkin (pure pumpkin, not pie filling)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons oat flour (or finely ground oats)
  • 1 tablespoon of dried catnip (optional)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. In a bowl, combine the drained sardines, mashed sweet potato, canned pumpkin, and egg.
  3. Mix the ingredients until you have a well-blended mixture.
  4. Add the oat flour and, if desired, a tablespoon of dried catnip to the mixture and stir until you have a dough-like consistency.
  5. Form small, cat-sized portions of the dough into individual treats or use a cookie cutter to make fun shapes.
  6. Place the treats on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the treats are firm to the touch and slightly crispy.
  8. Allow the treats to cool before offering them to your feline friend.

Sardines with a Side of Thanks treats are sure to make your cat purr with delight on the holiday! Remember to serve them in moderation and as a special treat for your favorite feline. Looking for other homemade pet treat recipes that are safe for cats? Check out these recipes from PetMD.


As Thanksgiving approaches, our pets are more than just family; they’re cherished companions who deserve to share in the festivities. Whether it’s whipping up homemade pet treat recipes or ensuring that any shared Thanksgiving morsels are safe and enjoyable, celebrating the holiday with your furry friends can create heartwarming moments. Remember to indulge them in moderation and keep an eye on what ingredients they can and cannot have.

Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude, and we’re incredibly grateful for the joy and love our pets bring into our lives.

At VIP Pets, we understand the importance of ensuring your pets are safe, comfortable, and well-cared for, especially during the holiday season. If you need pet sitting, dog walking, or any other pet-related services during this Thanksgiving season, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to make the holiday season worry-free and full of warmth for you and your pets. Contact VIP Pets today to discuss your holiday pet care needs.

Wishing you and your pets a delightful and memorable Thanksgiving filled with love, laughter, and gratitude!

Contact VIP Pets for Your Holiday Pet Care Needs Today!


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