Christmas Snacks

Christmas snacks and leftover foods for your dog

It’s coming up to Christmas time again, which means lots of lovely feasts and foodie treats to look forward to. There will, of course, be the Christmas turkey, a honey glazed ham and not to mention the delicious Christmas pudding and mince pies. We will all eat our fill, but what to do with the leftovers? It’s tempting to make your pet a bowl of Christmas treats, but be aware that what is good for humans to eat isn’t necessarily suitable for dogs. Many food items may even be dangerous and undoubtedly unhealthy for your pet.

Here are some essential Do’s and Don’ts for the Christmas Season:

Do – foods your dog can enjoy, in moderation, of course.

Below are just a few of the Christmas leftovers that are ok to give your dog in moderation.  A more comprehensive list of safe foods for dogs is available.

Turkey Meat – is fine for dogs if fed only in small quantities. Please don’t feed them the skin or gravy as these are high in fat and may cause a bout of pancreatitis, with very severe symptoms for your pooch.

Potatoes  – Only feed your dog plain boiled or mashed potatoes, with no added butter or salt. Potatoes are very starchy, and your dog may struggle to digest more than just a tiny amount.

Vegetables –  on the whole, veggies are usually ok for your dog in small portions. Chose from cauliflower, spinach, peas, Brussel sprouts, courgette, green beans, parsnip and carrot. Avoid bulb vegetables like leeks and onions as they are poisonous for dogs, and don’t feed them corn on the cob or avocado.  A full, list of dog friendly vegetables is here.

Don’t feed these foods items to your dog.

The following Christmas leftovers are a big no-no for your dog as they are either toxic or can cause internal damage (or both)

Turkey Bones can splinter, just like chicken bones, be ingested and obstruct the throat and stomach or perforation of the intestine.

Christmas cake, pudding and mince pies – these goodies are packed with sultanas and raisins, all of which are a variation on the grape and poisonous to dogs. They may also contain suet, a high fatty product that will cause health issues and possibly pancreatitis and vomiting. In addition, they could also contain alcohol, which has severe health symptoms if consumed by your dog.

A frequent question I get asked is can dogs eat mince pies?

Chocolate coins and decorations –  the majority of pet owners are aware of the dangers if a dog eats chocolate. Still, at Christmas time, they tend to forget about the easy to access decorations hanging on the tree.  These are usually wrapped in foil paper too, which causes an added problem if digested.

Macadamia nuts –  we all love to see a bowl of mixed nuts on the table, but the symptoms can be quite horrendous if your dog eats just a small quantity. Within 2 hours of eating them, your dog can experience vomiting, tremors, depression, weakness, hyperthermia, and increased body temperature.

If you discover that your dog has been into mischief and eaten any of these food items, then the first thing you must do is contact your local vet and ask for advice. The sooner treatment is sought, the better the outcome for your pet. Ask any visitors to refrain from feeding your dog food and snacks and remember that any strange food, even if it’s from the suitable to eat list, can upset your dog’s stomach. No one likes to feel bloated and full after Christmas lunch – moderation is the key.

so we hope you and your dog have a safe and happy Christmas

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