20th November 2018
This festive period, pooch owners should be aware of which human foods are naughty or nice for their dogs. Those tails are sure to be wagging when the pigs in blankets get plated up and you’re guaranteed to have a furry staring longingly up at you from beneath the Christmas table. But beware, what's tasty for humans can be very toxic for our dogs.
Here are the dog treats that you can say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to this Christmas.
If you’re careful with your turkey cuts, your pooch will be in for their own little Christmas feast. Small amounts of white meat are fine for your furrys’ tummies, but make absolutely sure that no bird bones are lying around as these can splinter when eaten. Turkey skin is also too fatty for your dog and may have soaked up flavourings like onion, sage and garlic that are very tasty for us – but very dangerous for dogs. So, serve skinless and boneless for a dog-friendly festive treat.
Fresh or dried unsweetened cranberries are safe to feed to your dog in small pooch portions. They’re low in calories and high in vitamin C, fibre and potassium. However, grapes, raisins and currants are highly toxic to dogs so make sure that any cranberry sauce your pet tucks into is pure with nothing else added. In general, cranberry sauce has a high sugar content, so these little red berries and best served by themselves raw, cooked or dried.
Plain, mashed or boiled potato is pooch-friendly. Beware of mash that contains sour cream or butter though, as – although butter isn’t toxic for animals – discovering that your dog is lactose intolerant is a festive surprise definitely not worth waiting for!
Despite its love-hate relationship with humans, the humble brussel sprout is filled with goodness. Packed with vitamins (including K, C, A, B1 and B6), antioxidants, fibre, manganese, potassium and folate – these tiny parcels can help reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, make bones stronger and even fight dangerous free radicals!
The downside to the sprout is their ability to cause gas and diarrhoea. Sometimes known as green fart balls, it’s best to only give your dog a small number of sprouts and keep an eye on them to avoid any inappropriate Christmas table manners or unpleasant side-effects. Steam, boil or microwave your sprouts (don’t serve raw) and make sure that they’re green, firm and thoroughly washed beforehand with most of the stalk cut off.
Low in calories, high in fibre and vitamins – carrots are a cracking Christmas snack for your dog. Not only will they help to satisfy their appetite between meals, but raw carrots also work as a natural toothbrush to floss away any lingering foods.
The beta-carotene in carrots is an antioxidant and cleverly converts into Vitamin A, which helps to support immune, skin and coat health.
Our Duck & Parsely Biscuit Bites contain beta-carotene to improve not only the look but the pigmentation of your pooch’s coat – leaving them looking fabulous for the festive season.
Eggs can provide a great source of very digestible protein for your pup. It’s best to pick organic, free-range eggs to avoid unnecessary health risks. There is some debate as to whether or not dogs can eat egg white. While excessive amounts of raw egg can cause biotin-deficiency, they are also a fab source of vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin B12, iron and protein. Eggshell is also full of vitamins and calcium.
Understandably, dog owners worry about the risk of salmonella, but in the UK our “Lion mark” eggs (which include almost all of the eggs produced in the UK) are declared safe and virtually free of salmonella. If you have any concerns, stick to boiled eggs as a dog-friendly training treat.
A tasty spoon of unsalted peanut butter can serve as a healthy and wholesome dog treat. As well as being a great source or protein, it’s also packed with vitamins and nutrients.
No unsalted peanut butter in the cupboard? For all the taste in a biscuit-sized dog treat, the Best in Show Peanut Butter & Jelly Biscuit Bites have been specially formulated by a nutritionist to help aid your dog’s digestion.
A seasonal special, pumpkin is a superfood! Full of fibre that keeps tummies feeling fuller for longer and other surprising pet health benefits. It’s loaded with vitamins, promotes shiny coats and works as a natural remedy for upset stomachs.
Small amounts of fresh veggies including carrots, green beans and broccoli are crunchy (good for canine teeth), nutritious and low calorie.
Green beans will give your dog a dose of iron and vitamins. You may want to cook before serving, though they are typically considered safe to eat raw.
Gravy can be very rich and fatty, so you should be very selective about sharing your delicious Christmas gravy with your pooch. Shop-bought gravy is likely to contain high levels of salt, garlic and onion, which can cause toxic anaemia in dogs.
Stuffing comes with a similar warning to gravy. Our popular festive seasonings such as sage, chives, garlic and pepper can be very toxic for our furry family members, as can mushrooms, onions and scallions. So, make sure to keep those stuffing balls all to yourself!
Ah, pigs in blankets – the festive treat that most humans look forward to the most in the run-up to Christmas. And the thing that dogs are likely to immediately sniff out from your kitchen surfaces. However delicious for us humans, bacon is high in fat and completely unsuitable for canine consumption.
Although a healthy snack for humans, grapes, raisins, currants and sultanas can all be life-threatening for your dog. Grapes have been attributed to causing kidney failure and even death in dogs, so if your dog sneaks a sultana or grape from the floor or table top, make sure to contact your vet straight away.
Your stocking is very likely to be piled high with chocolatey treats on Christmas morning, so be sure to keep your excited pooch away from that Terry’s Chocolate Orange. Instead, treat them to their own dog-friendly advent calendar, filled with 23 carob and oat bones, so that they can safely join in with the festive fun.
Containing an ingredient called thiosulphate that can cause damage to the red blood cells, onions are toxic to dogs and a total no-no. If your dog decides to have a nibble on some nearby onion this festive season, make sure to seek immediate veterinary care.
While certain nut butters can be healthy for dogs in small, infrequent portions –other nuts are poisonous and shouldn’t be given in any form. Almonds can be difficult to digest and can cause tummy upset; pecans and macadamia nuts contain a toxin that can lead to neurological symptoms like muscle tremors and even seizures, and pistachios have a high-fat content that can cause pancreatitis.
To be on the safe side, consider no nut a good nut!