Vet Q&A: Can we feed the dog Christmas dinner?

by PDSA | 16 December 2019 #VetQ&As

We’re feeling really festive here and it’s the time of year that most owners might be thinking of giving their dog an extra treat on Christmas day.

Everyone wants their pets to feel included on Christmas day and one way you might be thinking of including them could be giving them a share of the Christmas dinner. Now generally we’d advise against giving your dog a full on Christmas dinner – it can unbalance their diet and they might come to expect it every time you have a roast.

However, if you do want to give your dog a one-off Christmas treat, don’t forget that even the smallest bit of food will be a huge treat in their eyes, so don’t go crazy on the portions! If you do give them a small treat, try to keep it as plain as possible (not covered in glaze or oil that could upset their stomach).

Generally, the ‘dog-safe’ parts of a roast are:

  • White turkey meat (boneless)
  • Carrot and swede mash (make sure it doesn’t have butter or onion in)
  • Carrots and parsnips (again, as plain as possible!)
  • Green beans, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, peas (you guessed it – as plain as possible!)
  • Cauliflower.

Some other foods, like cheese sauces, roast potatoes, bacon and pigs in blankets, are too high in calories and fat and could really upset your dog’s stomach (and let’s face it, no one wants to have to clean up that mess on Christmas!).

The foods to absolutely avoid giving your dog on Christmas are:

  • Bones
  • Onions, garlic, leeks and shallots (these are all toxic to dogs)
  • Mincemeat, currants, raisins and sultanas (again, these are toxic)
  • Alcohol and chocolate (toxic!).

We’d also recommend being careful of gravy, stuffing and bread sauce as these usually contain ingredients toxic to dogs. If your dog does eat something they should, take a look at our advice and remember to have your vet’s out of hour’s number.

If you do feed your dog a little treat, remember to take this into account and reduce their food allowance for the rest of the day. Don’t forget to read our full advice on the safe parts of Christmas dinner for dogs.

Share this article on:  PDSA | 16 December 2019


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