Who doesn’t LOVE the Christmas period!?! Log fires, carol singing, mince pies, mulled wine… yummy!
Spending the extra time with my family and friends is also my favourite thing to do and treating them all at this special time of year is always a given. That includes our three dogs!! However, we must all be aware that succumbing to the ‘puppy dog eyes’ and giving them our leftovers or titbits as a loving treat is not always the kindest thing to do.
All these foods are readily available in our cupboards over the holiday season, they can be dangerous and should not be fed to your dogs:
Mince Pies / Christmas Cake / Christmas Pudding
Apart from being full of dangerous fat, these festive treats contain dried fruits, spices and sometimes alcohol. Dried fruits such as raisins, currents and sultanas can be fatal to dogs. If your dog eats these foods you should seek advice from your vet immediately.
Chocolate contains cocoa and cocoa contains the compound theobromine. Theobromine is toxic to dogs at certain doses. The symptoms of theobromine ingestion may include restlessness, excitement, hyperactivity, nervousness, trembling, vomiting, diarrhoea, increased drinking and increased urination, increased heart rate, muscle tremors, seizures and possibly death. Therefore seek advice from you vet immediately if your dog gets into the tin of Christmas chocolates.
Sweets and Desserts
These are way too sugary and as in humans, too much sugar is bad for their waistline and your dogs breath! If they are sugar-free they will contain artificial sweeteners. The sweetener Xylitol is highly toxic for dogs.
Poultry bones are hollow and whether raw or cooked they can easily splinter. This may cause either dangerous obstruction, puncture wounds or a choking hazard for your dog.
Usually made from a mix of breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, herbs and spices. In small amounts, the breadcrumbs shouldn’t cause a problem for your dog (unless they have an allergy), however the onion, and variants of it such as onion powder, are toxic for dogs therefore they should be avoided. It is also recommended that they avoid all other bulb vegetables (garlic, leeks, shallots etc) Dogs are not used to eating herbs and spices so these are likely to cause stomach upsets.
Fatty skin from Turkey or Chicken
This is far too fatty for your dog. Fat can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and inflammation of the pancreas (Pancreatitis) which can be fatal for your dog.
Walnuts and macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs. Make sure you keep the salted peanuts out of their reach as well. Too much salt is not good for them. Other nuts are OK in small quantities but because they are high in fat they may be hard to digest consequently causing stomach upsets.
Alcohol is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and affects pets quickly. Ingestion of alcohol can cause dangerous drops in blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature. Intoxicated animals can experience seizures and respiratory failure.
What Christmas foods are safe to feed my dog?
If you do want to give your dog a Christmas dinner treat, you can give them these foods – in small quantities:
- Turkey – only boneless, skinless white meat
- Potatoes – can be given plain, mashed, or boiled with nothing else added
- Carrots – raw or cooked
- Parsnips – without honey, herbs, or spices
To be on the safe side you are probably better to buy your furry friend specially made Christmas treats. I found some delicious looking seasonal specialities at The Dog Treat Company made in Devon.
For the paw-fect gift for your dog loving friends have a look at our Dog First Aid Kit, it comes with carefully selected components that work alongside a guide booklet covering 15 different emergency situations and advice on how to treat your dog.