Christmas is all about spending quality time with family and loved ones, which usually includes an abundance of delicious food, treats and drinks. So, of course, we want to get our furry family members involved in the fun as much as possible. But when it comes to sneaking them a bite off our plate or even a piece of chocolate out of our advent calendars, you could be doing more harm than good.
So, if you need help and advice on what festive foods to avoid giving your dog this Christmas, we are here to help!
Find information here on festive foods that are toxic to dogs and some tips on tasty replacements that ensure your pup is in on the fun of the season.
What Not to Give Your Dog at Christmas
Getting the foods your dog can not eat out of the way might be easier. So, here are five festive foods that are toxic to dogs that you absolutely should avoid this Christmas season.
1. Mince Pies
Traditionally, a mince pie at Christmas is filled with raisins, sultanas, and currants, all potentially poisonous to dogs. If eaten, they can cause gut problems and, in worse cases, even lead to kidney failure.
If you notice a mince is missing from a plate, or even a nibble has disappeared, contact your vet immediately for further advice. You should also look for signs of excessive drooling, an increase in thirst, and wobbling while walking. If you notice these signs in your dog, relay them to your vet.
Chocolate is a staple all year round, and you should already know of its dangers to dogs. However, at Christmas time, chocolate is truly everywhere. From advent calendars to tins of sweets and even chocolate baubles on the tree, there is temptation all around for you and your pets alike.
But why is it so dangerous for dogs?
In chocolate, there is a chemical called theobromine, which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, hyperactivity, tremors, seizures, heart problems, and in the worst cases, death. So, keep all chocolate treats out of the reach of curious noses this Christmas, and head to your local pet shop for dog-friendly chocolate instead.
3. Christmas Cake
Like mince pies, Christmas cakes and puddings are filled with raisins, sultanas, and currants. We’ve already told you how dangerous these are to your dogs, so you should avoid feeding these to your dogs over Christmas.
However, it is not just the inside of the cake that is dangerous to your four-legged friends, as even the icing and decoration can be toxic to dogs. Traditionally, Christmas cake is covered in a layer of marzipan which can cause a mild gastrointestinal upset if eaten in excess. Similarly, icing sugar can lead to watery diarrhoea and vomiting.
4. Sage and Onion Stuffing
If feeding your dog scraps from your Christmas dinner, you might even be tempted to indulge them in a bite of stuffing. Most Christmas stuffings contain onions, garlic, leeks, shallots and chives, which are all a part of the allium family.
A substance within these foods can damage a dog’s red blood cells and even lead to life-threatening anaemia. So, if you are keen to treat your dog to some stuffing this Christmas, you might consider making your own batch friendly to their tummy.
5. Gingerbread Men & Houses
Another Christmas staple is gingerbread. However, you should keep it away from your dog in whatever format you put it in, whether it's gingerbread houses, men or even doggies. This is because shop-bought gingerbread is usually high in sugar, fat and nutmeg, which can upset your dog’s stomach.
However, if making your own gingerbread from scratch, you can limit these quantities to make a safe cookie for your pet to enjoy!
Can Dogs Eat Christmas Dinner?
When it comes to the main event, Christmas dinner, you will probably notice your dog following you around the kitchen and looking for any pieces dropped to the floor. This is also where many pet owners want to get their dogs involved the most by putting them together with their own little plates.
The good news is that many classic Christmas dinner ingredients are safe for your dog to enjoy!
Providing your dog is healthy, it is safe to feed them the following Christmas dinner classics in moderation:
- Turkey (no skin or bones)
- Green beans
- Brussel sprouts
- Mashed potato (without additional butter)
However, please be advised that giving your dog lots of new food can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, so do not overindulge!
Christmas Treats for Everyone
We hope our guide on what's safe for your dogs to eat this Christmas has helped you in your festive planning! After all, it's important that every family member can be involved in the fun, but we want to ensure everyone stays happy and healthy once the celebrations are done. Luckily, we stock a range of scrumptious festive dog treats made especially for your furry friend - so they can join in the feasting without any worry!