Thanksgiving Dinner for Dogs

Winning ways with leftovers
By Jonna Anne, November 2009
Thanksgiving Dinner for Dogs

Dogs love turkey and sweet potatoes, too. Cook this meal from scratch or use up the leftovers—either way, your chow hounds will chow down with gusto! This is a moderate-carb recipe suitable for healthy adult dogs.

Homemade turkey dinners are one of the best special treats there is for a dog. This fall, when you’ve made some turkey for yourself, consider putting together this delicious homemade meal for your dog with leftovers.

Thanksgiving Dinner for Dogs Recipe

Here’s how to make the very best roasted turkey thanksgiving dinner for dogs at home. Preparation Time: 30 minutes Makes: 9 1-cup servings


  • 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)


If using turkey leftovers, you can skip to step 3. 


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1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Lightly oil a roasting pan.

2. For boneless breast or thigh, cook 30–45 minutes; boned breast or thigh, 45–60 minutes; whole turkey, 1 1/2–2 hours or until the meat juices run clear when pierced with a skewer. Let cool.

3. Remove all the bones and dice the meat into large pieces.

4. If using fresh sweet potatoes, roast with the turkey for about 25–30 minutes or until tender. Let cool, then peel and dice.

5. Meanwhile, cook the oatmeal according to package instructions.

6. Mix together the turkey meat, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce. If using gravy or oil, add it now and mix thoroughly. (If your dog is at all prone to pancreatitis or other fat-related upsets, omit the gravy.) 

Nutritional Information

  • Per 1-cup serving (approximate, depending on ingredient substitutions)
  • Calories 321
  • Protein 44 g
  • Carbohydrates 16 g
  • Dietary fiber 1.9 g
  • Fat 7.7 g (with gravy; less if omitted)

Portion Size

For small dogs, 3/4 cup; medium dogs, 1 1/2 cups; larger or more active dogs, 3 cups.


Add 400 mg calcium per 1-cup serving (600 mg if using bone meal).

Adapted from The Healthy Dog Cookbook: 50 Nutritious and Delicious Recipes Your Dog Will Love. Published by TFH Publications, 2008. Used by permission. © Ivy Press Limited

Article first appeared in The Bark, Issue 51: Nov/Dec 2008

 Photo from The Healthy Dog Cookbook, © Andrew Perris


Jonna Anne is an executive chef, founder of the Copperpaws website and author of The Healthy Doggie Biscuit Box. She lives in Hemlock, New York. Written with Mary Straus, Canine Nutritionist, and Shawn Messonier, DVM, Veterinary Consultant