Dogs and Christmas Leftovers

Are Christmas leftover food and snacks OK to feed to your dog?


Now that we’ve all enjoyed our fantastic Christmas Fayre, chances are that you have leftovers sitting in the fridge. While we have all overindulged with drinking and eating, we can bet that your dog has also had some Christmas treats that he wouldn’t normally be allowed to eat. Dog experts argue that while humans are generally Ok to bend the rules at holiday time, giving in to the pleading looks from your dog may be causing more harm than good.

Cats and dogs are not designed to consume human, processed food, and with it comes symptoms like itchiness, dry or sore skin, smelly wind and stinky breath, which are usually linked to their diet. 

Christmas foods to avoid

A small amount of lean white turkey breast meat should be fine for a small snack, but fatty meat can cause pancreatitis. Take care if giving any poultry meat that may contain cooked bones, which are brittle and may splinter in the dog’s throat or stomach. It’s best to leave leftover cooked bones on your plate.

Many pet owners are unaware that avocado is dangerous if fed to dogs, and as guacamole is a popular party dip, make sure that your pooch avoids the dips and nibbles. Nuts, especially Macadamia nuts, can pose a potential choking hazard, in addition to causing weakness, lethargy and chance of collapse if even moderate amounts are eaten.

Most of these sweet treats contain raisins or grapes, both of which can result in diarrhoea, lethargy or vomiting in your pet, who may refuse to eat, have an increase in urinating and become increasingly dehydrated. Most Christmas fruit cakes also contain alcohol, which carries a risk. A dog will quickly devour a chunk of cake containing quite an amount of alcohol, with nasty side effects. Keep well out of the reach of your dog.

There are hidden ingredients in crisps, like onion powder and salt, which can interfere with your dog’s blood circulation, resulting in haemolytic anaemia. Corn and maize in puffed type crisps are common allergens for many breeds of pets. To find out about Junk Food and dogs please read our article.

Christmas Foods safe for dogs

There are a few yummy Christmas food leftovers that your dog can safely eat. Obviously, feed them in moderation.

POTATOES – Plain, boiled or mashed are ok, without added salt. All potatoes are starchy, which your dog will find difficult to digest.

VEGETABLES – Don’t overdo the veggies, but your dog will happily eat some cauliflower, spinach, peas, Brussel sprouts, courgette, green beans, parsnip and carrot. Avoid bulb vegetables such as leeks and onions, and don’t feed him corn on the cob.

FRUIT – Most fruit items are acidic and high in sugar, which could upset your dog’s digestive system, so after removing any stones or pips, feed only in moderation. Never give rhubarb to your pet, as the leaves and stalk of this plant are toxic to canines.

It’s not a good idea to feed your dog directly at the table, which can result in begging and bad manners. Feed him away from the table and not at your mealtimes to avoid this. If he is usually a bit of a picky eater, feed him his regular dog food first and then share leftover titbits with him.

Alternatively, you can turn Christmas leftovers into yummy treats for your dog to enjoy whilst out walking