4 Creative Ways to Use Your Thanksgiving Leftovers to Make Delicious Dog Treats

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Image credit: Two Healthy Kitchens

This article has been updated with new Thanksgiving dog treats.

With so much to eat, it’s hard not to share the goods with your dog this Thanksgiving. But be careful. There is a lot of food that can make your dog very sick, including raisins, bones, stuffing, grapes, chocolate, spices, and ham, among others.

But your dog doesn’t have to miss out completely on the Thanksgiving menu. They can even come to your rescue and help you use some of your leftovers.

Related: 5 Easy DIY Dog Treats for the Fall

Here are some yummy recipes for dog treats that use typical turkey-day leftovers. (Just make these healthy treats are fed sparingly.)

Thanksgiving Turkey Meatballs for Dogs

You’ll be able to use your leftover turkey and veggies to make a treat that your dog will go crazy over. You can also add them to your dog’s regular meal.

Go here for full recipe information.


  • 1 lb. of leftover unseasoned turkey with bones and skin removed (and no gravy on it)
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsps plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 cup mixed veggies (such as carrots, peas, and green beans)
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put turkey into a food processor to help break up the meat. Add the rolled oats to the food processor and run until blended well. There should be no large pieces of turkey in the mixture. Add the eggs and yogurt and blend until mixture begins to hold together. Spoon mixture into a large bowl and add veggies and parsley. Roll into small meatballs and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for approximately 20 minutes until the edges start to turn golden.

Related: Celebrate Your Dog’s Special Day With This Yummy Birthday ‘Pupcakes’ Recipe

Turkey Jerky Thanksgiving Dog Treats

This jerky treat will make you feel like a pro in the kitchen, despite it being so easy to make. There’s no need for a food dehydrator, as you can make this recipe in your oven. Your leftover turkey will turn into crispy, crunchy jerky that your dog will go bananas over. It’s a healthy treat, but stick to white breast meat as it has less fat. Go here for full recipe information, including if you do want to use a food dehydrator.


  • ¼ to ½ cup olive oil, if you choose (enough to cover the turkey strips)
  • Chopped parsley
  • Leftover, unseasoned turkey breast cut into thin strips

In a long container with a lid, mix together the olive oil and finely chopped parsley. Add the sliced turkey, cover, shake gently, and allow to marinate for at least three hours (longer if the turkey is dry). Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a cookie sheet, place strips on it, and slow bake for one hour. The jerky should be crisp and crunchy when done. Let cool; store in refrigerator. You can also freeze, too.

Cranberry and Turkey Thanksgiving Treats

What goes better than cranberries and turkey? With this treat, your dog gets the benefits of turkey along with cranberry, a great antioxidant for dogs. Go here for full recipe information.


  • 1 cup whole cranberries
  • 1 cup cooked turkey, preferably white meat
  • 3 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup water or broth as needed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease two cookie sheets or use non-stick ones. Mix the flour and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Take turkey, olive oil, egg, and cranberries and put in the food processor or blender until it is the consistency of baby food. Combine with dry ingredients and create a thick dough. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface and use a bone cookie cutter to make the treats. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool completely before giving to your pup or refrigerating. Can be stored in the refrigerator in 3 days or in freezer for up to 6 months.

Sweet Potato and Leftover Turkey Thanksgiving Treats

This treat has only four ingredients, and they are super easy to make. They are not only healthy, but dogs really love them. You can make them as little round biscuits using a teaspoon measuring spoon, squares using a pizza cutter or use a cookie cutter to make cute shapes. And for busy dog parents, you can freeze extras in airtight bags if you want to make a large batch at once. Go here for full recipe information.


  • ½ cup plain mashed, cooked sweet potatoes (no spices, butter, or candied yams)
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups cooked turkey, finely chopped
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix together sweet potatoes, water and the egg. Stir until thoroughly blended. Add turkey and flour, and blend until combined. Dough will be thick and sticky. Spread the dough out evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet to about ½ inch thickness. Use the pizza cutter to score the dough into squares or rectangles, or cut shapes with a cookie cutter. If you want to make round biscuits, spoon out by tablespoon, leaving some space between them, and flatten out slightly with the spoon. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the treats are a light golden brown. Let cool. If you’re making squares, you will be able to break them apart along the scored lines. Store in refrigerator or in the freezer.

Related: 30 Super Easy Dog Treats Recipes Using 5 Ingredients or Less

By Jillian Blume

Jillian Blume is a New York City–based writer whose feature articles have appeared in magazines, newspapers, and websites including the New York Observer, Marie Claire, Self, City Realty, the ASPCA,, Best Friends Animal Society, The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, The Pet Gazette, and many others.

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