Happy Howlidays: Food Do’s and Don’ts for Dogs This Christmas
Christmas is a time that all members of the family should enjoy, including your pet pooch. Although most pet owners are aware of the fact that dogs are best off just eating their normal dog food, it’s even more difficult to ignore those puppy eyes beaming up at you on Christmas. If you know yourself well enough that you don’t think you’ll be able to resist sneaking your friend some festive treats, it’s important to know what you can, and what you definitely can’t, give them.
Foods that your dog should not eat
Starting with the basics, your furry friend should never be encouraged to join in with Christmas drinking. Even a small amount of alcohol is really bad for them. There are also several traditional festive food goodies that you should not share with your pet:
- The bones and skin from the turkey or chicken.
Bones from any bird can be dangerous. They can get lodged the throat, becoming a serious choking hazard, and can break into small sharp pieces that can pierce the lining of the stomach or intestines. Turkey skin is extremely fatty, which is not only unhealthy for dogs, but can cause serious problems with their pancreas.
You may think that gravy is delicious and completely harmless, but it’s high in salt and fat; both of which can be dangerous to dogs.
- Onions and other bulb vegetables.
All types of alliums are poisonous to dogs, so it’s important to keep your pet away from them. Onions are the main cause for concern, but other bulb vegetables, like garlic, can also cause serious problems.
- Grapes, raisins, currants and sultanas.
All of these items are highly toxic to dogs. In fact, if your pet eats even a small amount, you should seek help from a vet as soon as possible. For this reason, Christmas treats such as Christmas pudding, Christmas cake and mince pies should never be fed to dogs, and ideally kept out of reach at all times.
- Chocolate in any form.
Chocolate is a favourite in most homes over the holidays, but it’s very bad for dogs. It contains theobromine, which can be deadly to your furry friend even in small amounts, so don’t let them have any, no matter how much they give you the sad eyes treatment.
You should of course not serve any of these foods to your dog at any time of the year, but it might be a good idea to keep an extra eye on your dog during the holidays, as left overs might be left on the table while you enjoy a game of charades, or well meaning guests might try to sneak your pooch a bit of Christmas cake. It’s a good idea to tell everyone not to feed the dogs anything, and then, if you really want to, you can treat them to some canine friendly festive food yourself. Here are a few things that are fine for dogs to eat.
Christmas food that your dog can eat
Christmas won’t be ruined for your dog if they don’t get a special Christmas dinner, but if you want them to join in with the celebrations, you can try some of these things. It’s important to remember that all of these foods should be given to dogs in moderation – keep portions small.
- A few slices of turkey.
You can give your pet some white turkey meat, as long as the skin and all bones have been removed.
- Boiled and mashed potatoes.
Dogs will enjoy a small amount of boiled or mashed potato. Remember that you should only ever feed your pet plain potato with no salt or butter added.
- Other vegetables.
As with any other food items, do not give your dog a pile of vegetables, but it’s fine to let them have a try of a few selected items from the Christmas meal. Sprouts, swedes, parsnips and green beans are normally very popular with dogs, as is a raw or cooked piece of carrot. Do not add any seasoning, butter or sauces before you give the vegetables to your pet however.
Many of us enjoy some scrambled eggs on Christmas morning, and this is another thing you can give to your dog as a treat. In fact, eggs contain lots of beneficial vitamins and minerals, and can make the dog’s coat shinier. Again, you should not add any butter or salt to the eggs, and it’s best to keep portions small.
- Fruit with pips or stones removed.
Most fruits in the fruit bowl can be shared with your dog, as long as pips or stones are removed, and items like bananas and satsumas are peeled. You should however remember that fruit is acidic and contains a lot of sugar, so can cause stomach problems in dogs if they have too much.
Making sure your furry friend has a great Christmas is important. Keeping your dog out of the kitchen, and making sure they eat and drink the right things, can help make this happen.
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