How to have a pet-friendly Christmas dinner
Christmas is a time of taste-bud tickling food and treats, which are guaranteed to have your furry friend drooling longingly. We all know…it only takes one of their doe-eyed ‘feed me before I faint with hunger’ looks before we find ourselves slipping them some of our festive foods. But could we be doing our furries more harm than good and how can we ensure they have a pet-friendly Christmas dinner this year?
So, for those of you who don’t want your cat or dog to feel left out this Christmas, here is a quick guide to the do’s and don’ts of sharing your Christmas dinner with your pet:
- Turkey/Chicken meat: It’s okay to feed a small amount without the skin, as this is too fatty for them and could cause a tummy upset or even pancreatitis. Also, ensure that any meat fed is bone-free, as cooked chicken bones splinter easily and can damage their digestive tract and even cause life-threatening blockages.
- Cooked Potatoes: Keep it simple, plain mash (nothing added) or boiled potatoes (butter and seasoning free) are fine. Avoid feeding roast potatoes or any mash that has been seasoned or contains butter, onion or garlic (this includes, dried, powdered and fresh varieties).
- Veggies: A small amount of boiled broccoli, spinach, carrots, cauliflower (no cheese sauce allowed!) and of course the Christmas staple…the Brussel Sprout is fine too – just don’t be surprised if your pet has a touch of windy pops later!
Remember, always feed even ‘safe’ foods in moderation, as overfeeding can be harmful to their tummies too.
Sadly, besides giving them a nasty bellyache, many of the treats and foods that we enjoy at Christmas can be toxicor harmful to our pets!
Here are some Christmas dinner foods and treats to avoid:
- Cooked Bones: Avoid the temptation to give your pet any of the bones from your Christmas feast, as they are prone to splintering into sharp fragments, which may cause damage to your dog’s delicate digestive tract, an obstruction or even a nasty bout of constipation.
- Gravy: This is a definite no-no! Not only is it often high in salt but it commonly contains powdered onion, which is toxic to our pets and can be fatty if homemade.
- Stuffing: This should be avoided, as it can contain onions, garlic and shallots, all of which are toxic to our pets – so stay well clear!
- Turkey or chicken skin: This is very fatty and feeding it to your pet could place them at risk of developing pancreatitis.
- Pigs in blankets: (sausages wrapped in bacon) – This festive favourite is high in fat and salt and again can cause digestive upset or even pancreatitis.
- Grapes: These are toxic to pets and can be fatal even if fed in small amounts.
- Foods containing raisins, currants or sultanas: These are also toxic to pets and can be life-threatening. So, festive favourites, such as Christmas cake, mince pies and Christmas pudding are absolutely off the menu!
- Cheese: Although many pets adore this, it is a dairy product and our pets can struggle to digest it (especially our feline friends!) leading to digestive upset. Again, it is high in fat and could trigger pancreatitis. Blue varieties of cheese are also toxic to pets and should be avoided completely!Also, if you have a pooch with a sensitive nose who likes a quick rummage in the bin. Always carefully wrap up any left-overs or ‘bad for them’ foods and dispose of them in a secure bin outdoors.
There are lots of fun and safe Christmas pet treats and foods that you can feed your pet this Christmas worry–free, just visit our Christmas Shop to find some tasty pet-safe Christmas foods and treats.
Have a great Christmas everyone