Christmas is a time for fun, family and food, and it is no surprise that those of us with dogs want to include our four-legged pals in the seasonal festivities, especially the central point of the day – Christmas dinner. During all the excitement, it is easy to become complacent with food items that can be potentially harmful to your dog; therefore, we have compiled a brief guide to help you remain vigilant.
Not all human food is toxic for dogs or has an adverse effect on dogs, but it should be in moderation.
Feeding your dog a little bit of the Christmas turkey is safe. However, do not be tempted to add gravy, it is an unnecessary carrier of fat and salt, and your dog won’t know the difference. It is best to avoid giving turkey or chicken skin since they are too fatty for canines. Too much fat can cause pancreatitis.
Pigs in Blankets
Although these smell lovely, don’t be tempted to give one or two to your dog. They are far too fatty and salty and will give your pet a poorly tummy upset.
We tend to cook a lot more meat joints at Christmas. Bones, whether cooked or not, are a choking hazard for your dog; if the bone splinters, there is also a high risk of perforation. You may think you have it covered by keeping bones away from your dog at the dinner table, but be wary of leaving rubbish bags open and within reach of your pet. They will find it hard to resist the smell!
Small amounts of vegetables are acceptable for your dog, including carrot, parsnip, green beans, courgette, Brussels sprouts, broccoli florets (very small amount only), peas, spinach, and cauliflower. When preparing their portion, do not add any salt, butter or type of fat. Potatoes can be either mashed or boiled, but again avoid adding unnecessary extras and keep the portion small, as too much starch can be painful.
Related article: dog-friendly vegetables
Sweets and Deserts
Although we find these delicious, they are far too sugary for your pet. Even sugar-free ones may contain Xylitol, an artificial sweetener that’s very dangerous for your pooch.
Seeds and Nuts
It’s not recommended that you give your dog any walnuts or macadamia nuts. However, tiny amounts of almonds and cashews can be given safely. Your dog will love these as a special treat.
Grapes can cause serious harm to your canine pal, whether it is a few or many. Currants, raisins and sultanas have a similar impact since they all come from the same family food group. Subsequently, do not share with your dog Christmas pudding, Christmas cake or mince pies. Other fruit can be given in moderation as long any pits/stones are removed first and if there is rhubarb on the menu, make sure your dog doesn’t have any as the plant is very dangerous for them.
Onions, garlic and other bulb vegetables
(e.g. chives, leeks, shallots) – Avoid at all costs, including variants such as onion powder. Garlic does not pose any immediate threat to dogs, but the cumulative effects are harmful if given consistently.
We have many more cocoa products available at this time of the year, but they should be kept well out of reach of dogs. Chocolate contains theobromine which can be deadly for your pet. Please also avoid caffeine or alcohol for your dog. Clear away any leftover cups or glasses out of your dog’s reach. Follow these simple rules for a trouble-free, peaceful Christmas.
Remember, if in doubt, always seek advice from a veterinarian
Related article Chocolate and dogs
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