With Christmas just around the corner many of us will be starting to plan out our festive menus, and thinking about what tasty delights we are going to stock our cupboards with. Christmas is certainly a time for giving and being a little more extravagant.
But, however tempting it is to succumb to those puppy dog eyes, it’s always important to remember that a lot of human foods are toxic to dogs and should be kept safely out of their way.
So, we’ve listed a few of the popular Christmas foods that you shouldn’t feed your dog – any time of the year.
Christmas Cake, Mince Pies and Christmas Pudding
Although a staple in most households at Christmas, they are packed with sultanas, raisins and currants. All of which are toxic to dogs and can cause severe illness or fatality. So, make sure you don’t leave any leftovers where they can be reached by hungry pups.
All chocolate is highly toxic to dogs, so if you have dogs in the house it’s best to avoid hanging chocolates from your tree. And keep any chocolate presents or sweets out of reach. Dogs won’t think anything of tucking into neatly wrapped presents under the tree if they think they contain food!
So, you’ve perfected the turkey, and everyone has had more than their fair share. But what do you do with it afterwards? Boil it up to make some soup, use the leftovers for a turkey curry or save it for some festive sandwiches? Whatever you do, make sure you safely dispose of all the bones. If your dog got hold of them they could get lodged in their throat or intestines, leading to risky emergency surgery.
We all love a good bowl full of nuts while we’re watching our favourite Christmas movie, but many are poisonous to our four-legged friends. Macadamia nuts in particular are incredibly toxic. Walnuts, pistachios, pecans and almonds may also contain toxins that can cause your dog to be poorly. Dogs can generally tolerate a few peanuts, hazelnuts and cashews, although they can suffer nut allergies like humans. So, if you’re in any doubt, it’s best to avoid them altogether.
Most of us will spend some of the festive season enjoying a tipple or two, but don’t be tempted to share any with your pooch. Dogs don’t have the same tolerance for alcohol as humans do and just a small amount can make them really sick.
I love a good cheese board at Christmas, loaded with loads of different cheeses and biscuits. In fact the thought of it now is making my mouth water. But generally, the cheese and biscuits are not the main problem for dogs. Do you have grapes or a range of tasty chutneys on your boards? I know I do. Grapes are one of the more commonly known toxic fruits, but did you know the onion chutney is harmful too? In fact, anything from the onion family should be kept away from your dogs. (Garlic, leeks, spring onions, shallots etc all pose a risk to your dog). A lot of dogs are lactose intolerant too and cannot digest dairy products properly.
This tasty Christmas Dinner essential smells and tastes so good, but don’t be tempted to share it with your pooch unless you know all its ingredients are safe. Lots of gravy contains onion or garlic powder, salt and may even contain alcohol. You can buy gravy especially formulated for dogs from most pet shops.
If you are a little bit crazy about your dogs like I am, there are lots of things you can cook them for their Christmas meal that are safe. Unseasoned meat and plain carrots and peas go down really well with my Bella, or if you are feeling extra generous a portion of boneless salmon would be very well received! Great for skin and coat condition too.
So, while Christmas is a time for giving and sharing, just remember that those puppy dog eyes don’t understand the dangers behind certain foods, so don’t be tempted to share anything that could end up with an emergency trip to the vet.
If you think your dog has eaten anything that could be toxic, consult your vet immediately.
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