With the holidays just around the corner, so much time and effort goes into preparing a wonderful feast for your guests, from the appetizers right through to the desserts.
But what about your faithful furry friend? Your dog has a great sense of smell and all of the wonderful scents that waft through the air during this period will be like heaven to your pooch if they know they’ll be getting some of the leftovers.
However, while some foods make great pet names, not all food is safe for your dog to eat; do you know which foods are safe for your dog, and which aren’t?
In this article we’ll take you through some of the most popular holiday foods and whether or not they’re a safe food option for your dog. The last thing you need during Christmas is for a well-meaning guest to slip your furry friend a treat from the dinner table, only to find out that the food disagreed with him, ruining your festivities.
Foods to avoid
You should never give a dog a cooked bone. They can splinter easily which can cause serious damage to your dog’s mouth, throat or even their insides.
Undercooked Meat and Eggs
If meat is not cooked properly, there are bacterial risks which your dog will be exposed to, such as E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria.
Onions are toxic for dogs, regardless of whether they are cooked or not. They will likely display symptoms such as being sick or having diarrhea, but onions also damage their red blood cells which can make them anemic. The same rules apply to any related vegetables such as leeks, shallots, garlic and chives. Most stuffing have onions, so avoid feeding this to them.
The salt content in gravy is too high for dogs. The meat will taste just as good to them without gravy, so just avoid it!
Raisins and Grapes
Christmas puddings and mince pies often contain dried fruits such as raisins, sultanas and currants. These foods are toxic to dogs and even a small amount can cause kidney failure.
There is a chemical in chocolate, called theobromine which is toxic to dogs even in small amounts. It can cause problems with their heart, convulsions and tremors. Dark chocolate is even more potent for them, so all forms of chocolate should be avoided.
A lot of desserts contain chocolate, sugar or artificial sweeteners, all of which are not suitable for dogs. Artificial sweeteners can cause liver damage, and sometimes symptoms can be slow to develop so you might not even notice any poisoning until it’s too late.
It would be wise to avoid any foods which you haven’t fed your dog before. If you want to try out foods prior to the holidays, that might be a safer option. The last thing you want is to find out that a certain food upsets your pet’s stomach during your celebrations. That won’t be much fun for either of you!
Foods that are safe
While the list of unsafe food might look big, there are still plenty of foods which you can feed your dog to make him feel extra special during the holiday period.
Here are some safe options:
- Well cooked meat (skin and bones removed)
- Scrambled eggs
- Vegetables; peas, carrots, parsnips, brussel sprouts, spinach, cauliflower
- Potatoes; mashed, sweet potatoes
- Fruits; most fruits are OK, in small amounts as long as the pip or stone is removed
Some other tips
- Moderation is important, don’t keep too much of any one thing.
- Don’t keep any food items under your tree or in easy access places for your dogs.
- Ask your guests not to feed your dog’s anything, so you can keep tabs directly on what they eat.
- Keep away any small toy parts, or other things which they might mistake for food and choke on.
- Some holiday plants such as mistletoe, holly and Christmas trees can upset a dog’s stomachs, so make sure they don’t digest any.